4 Arrested in Taxi Driver Death
Four people have been arrested in connection with the death of a 52-year-old taxi driver in Far Rockaway on August 13.
On Wednesday, August 24, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Austin Amos, 20, and Nickolas Porter, 20, have been indicted by a grand jury on charges of gang assault and manslaughter related to a fatal attack on taxi driver Kutin Gyimah. The defendants are accused of repeatedly punching and kicking the victim after he confronted them for an unpaid fare on August 13. Two juvenile females, one still unapprehended, also allegedly participated in the deadly incident.
District Attorney Katz said, “As alleged, these two defendants, with two juveniles, fatally assaulted a taxicab driver after he confronted them for fare evasion. An entire family is now grieving the tragic and senseless loss of their loved one because of this abhorrent behavior. My Office will continue working with the NYPD to make sure that all those responsible for this horrific incident are brought to justice. These two defendants are in custody and face a lengthy prison term if convicted for their alleged criminal actions.”
As of Friday, August 19, Amos, of Beach 56 Place in Arverne, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on a six-count complaint charging him with gang assault in the first and second degrees, manslaughter in the first and second degrees, assault in the second degree and theft of services. Amos faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Porter, of Hassock Street in Far Rockaway, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on charges of gang assault in the second degree and theft of services. Porter faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
A 15-year-old girl was arrested later and charged with gang assault and theft of services. And on Tuesday, August 23, police announced that a 13-year-old girl was also arrested in connection with the case. The NYPD is still looking for one more person, a 15-year-old girl, in connection with the attack.
According to the complaint, on August 13, 2022, at approximately 6:24 a.m. the defendants Amos and Porter were passengers with three juvenile females in the yellow minivan taxi of the victim Kutin Gyimah. When the group disembarked from the vehicle near the intersection of Beach 54th Street and Arverne Boulevard, the defendants refused to pay the ride fare and the group ran away in different directions.
Mr. Gyimah pursued them on foot and caught up to one of the females. Video surveillance footage shows the victim and the unapprehended female became involved in a struggle. Defendant Amos circled back to Mr. Gyimah and punched him multiple times causing the victim to fall to the ground. Defendants Amos, Porter and two of the females, one still unapprehended, then surrounded Mr. Gyimah allegedly punching and kicking the victim repeatedly as he lay on the pavement.
Mr. Gyimah attempted to regain his footing. When he stood, defendant Amos stepped forward and allegedly punched Mr. Gyimah twice in the face causing him to fall back and hit his head on the pavement. The entire group- defendants Amos, Porter and the three females- then left Mr. Gyimah motionless on the ground.
Emergency medical responders transported the victim to a local hospital where he died from blunt force trauma injuries to his head.
The investigation was conducted by Detective Neil Cusick of the 101st Queens Detective Squad with the assistance of Detective James Zozzaro of the Queens South Homicide Squad.