UPDATE: Morgan Stanley’s co-head of fixed income capital markets who was arrested and charged with a hate crime for allegedly threatening and stabbing a taxi driver pleaded not guilty in Connecticut Superior Court, Bloomberg TV reported.Earlier this month, we learned Darien police charged Morgan Stanley’s William Bryan Jennings with second-degree assault, theft of services and second-degree intimidation based on race or bigotry. He was released on $9,500 bond.
The managing director, who has since been placed on leave by Morgan Stanley, is accused of using racial slurs against Egyptian-born taxi driver Mohamed Ammar and saying “I’m going to kill you. You should go back to your country,” according to Bloomberg News. He’s also been accused of stabbing the taxi driver in the hand with a penknife.
The incident occurred in December, after a fare dispute following a ride from the city to the banker’s Connecticut home.
When the taxi arrived at managing director’s home, Jennings refused to pay a $200 cab fare. The police say that the cab driver then drove off with Jennings still in the backseat to find a cop to settle the dispute, but when the taxi driver stuck his hand into the backseat window he was stabbed by Jennings with a penknife, The Connecticut Post reported.
Jennings’ attorney Eugene Riccio denied the allegations claiming his client was a victim of a “criminal abduction.”
We spoke with Riccio last week to get his side of the story. The attorney said when the cab arrived at Jennings’ home, the driver said the fare was $294, which Riccio described as “grossly overcharged.”
He said Jennings offered to pay what he thought was a reasonable cab fare of $160, but the driver wouldn’t accept that offer. According to the attorney, the cab driver announced he was going to take Jennings back to the city.
Jennings attempted to get out of the cab, but was unsuccessful. By the time he was able to get the door open the car was moving too fast, the attorney said, adding that the cab driver ran through stop signs and red lights.
“The cab driver continued to drive in a reckless fashion, not observing lights, proceeding toward the Connecticut Turnpike,” Riccio said in a telephone interview. “My client did have a penknife, which he did take out. He kept asking this guy ‘Stop stop stop’ trying to get the cab driver to stop.”
That’s the when the driver attempted to grab the knife.
“Mr. Jennings was fearful for his safety,” Riccio said. “He fled and did not contact the police. He did not want the cabbie to find out where he lived.”
Riccio said Jennings voluntarily came forward, identified himself as the man in the incident, and then cooperated with authorities. He added that the accusations about racial slurs, which led to the hate-crime charge, were not true.
Lt. Ronald Bussell in Darien’s Police Department’s detective division told Business Insider Jennings did not come forward until two weeks after it happened.
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