Cab exec appalled after soldier told to get out of taxi
Reported By Chris Bundgaard, Reporter - bio | email
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
A top Nashville Yellow Cab executive says he was appalled and sickened when he learned that one of the company drivers is accused of ordering a soldier out of a taxi.
Yellow Cab's assistant manager, Marvin Sutton told News 2 on Tuesday that he believes the account from Kentucky National Guard member Allen Pendley.
The 25-year-old soldier says he was wearing his uniform Sunday when a cabbie "with a Somali accent" told him to get out of his taxi after being asked if he was in the Army.
"For this to happen to one of our servicemen, it almost brought tears to my eyes and anger at the same time," the Yellow Cab assistant manager said. "I have a son who spent his 21st birthday serving in Iraq."
Since learning of the incident on Monday, Sutton has spent much of his time going through the taxi company's new GPS tracking system and call logs to find out which Yellow Cab driver would have been at the downtown Nashville Greyhound bus station Sunday afternoon.
Guard member Pendley said that's where he got into a Yellow Cab which drove a few blocks before the driver decided to kick him out of the taxi near the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC).
Pendley says he vividly remembers "Yellow Cab" on the side of the door, but not the cab number.
The Yellow Cab executive says he has not found any indication yet that a Yellow Cab was at either at the bus station or TPAC any time Sunday afternoon.
"I am doing everything I can to find out what I can," added Sutton who acknowledged that a driver could be picking up fares without turning on his radio-controlled GPS tracker. "I would like to take some action against this driver if I could find out who he is."
The Kentucky soldier who attends a Nashville technical college says he too plans to take action against the unidentified driver.
Pendley says he soon intends to file a complaint with the Metro Transportation Licensing Commission which regulates Nashville cabs.
At the Nashville airport, where dozens of local cabbies waited their turns to pick up fares, several drivers who said they were of Somali descent weighed in on the soldier's story after being told about it by News 2.
Bashir Sharif, who said he was a naturalized U.S. citizen, said he often gives soldiers "a 15% discount because they protect our country."
He added that he did not know any Somali drivers who would become upset with an American soldier in their cab.
Farah Adem told News 2 "if the soldier's story is true, the driver must have some mental condition."