(KTVI) – Look out for an alleged criminal cabbie. He`s got a long arrest record and a current misdemeanor assault charge after reportedly threatening police officers with decapitation.
He`s a renegade cab driver, using a vehicle marked with logos from his former company. We started looking into him after finding a court record about a 911 call to police, from people who said he was making murderous threats. When officers arrived, the cabbie reportedly threatened to cut off their heads.
His vehicle looks legit, with his taxicab identification hanging from his rearview mirror. There`s a cab meter on the dash next to the Holy Book of Qur`an. The vehicle has taxicab plates still valid through the end of July. But those Wilson Taxi logos are not authorized. Tim Wilson would know. He owns the company. He said, ‘I`ve asked him to take it off and I`ve also asked the Taxicab Commission to remove it.’
Wilson says the driver used to work for him and bought the vehicle at that time. He’s Mahad Abdinoor Abdi, a man of Somali descent, with a long list of arrests. Prior arrests include 3rd degree assault, 2nd degree burglary, 2nd degree robbery and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. Only one got a conviction. A judge sentenced him to probation for trespassing at the Islamic Center in 2002.
Wilson told us, ‘The Taxicab Commission do all the screening, the fingerprinting and the record checking. We just, it`s left up to us if we want to hire them or not.’
Wilson says Abdi`s been gone for months, even before Abdi reportedly made the decapitation threats against police in June. Wilson thinks his former driver has no business keeping the Wilson taxi logos. He said, ‘I tried to deface the car, but the police actually told me that I couldn`t deface it and I couldn`t remove it.’ Wilson continued, ‘I would look at this as a regular cab if I was at the airport looking for a cab.’
Chris Hayes asked, ‘You`ve seen reports this is out there?’
Wilson answered, ‘Yeah, this is out there. A lot of my drivers have told me the car is still out on the street and the guy is still working.’
I called the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, known as MTC. While I was on the phone with MTC’s lawyer, Mahad Abdi walked out of his home to his cab. MTC said it`s been looking for him. I told the lawyer we were following him.
Unaware of our presence, Abdi went about his day, driving with a cab license the MTC said it permanently revoked in June. Based on our tip and our instructions as we followed Abdi for 45 minutes, investigators caught up with him near the Old Northwest Plaza.
Abdi got out of his car, looked at our camera and said, ‘Why you putting me on this?’
Chris Hayes asked, ‘Why are you driving this when your license has been revoked?’
Abdi said, ‘Which… no, my license is good.’
Hayes followed up, ‘Your taxi license.’
He then decided he did not want to talk. He tried asking an MTC investigator, who was removing his taxicab plate, to stop us.
Investigators took his plates and stuck a notice on his back window ‘vehicle not for hire.’
I told Abdi, ‘A lot of people might think…’
Abdi interrupted, ‘I don`t have nothing to do with you buddy.’
Hayes: But a lot of people might think with your long list of arrests that you shouldn`t have been driving a cab in the first place.
Abdi: C`mon man. I`m good man.
Hayes: Did you really threaten to chop off people`s heads?
Abdi walked away. He then got back in his Dodge Van, with unauthorized Wilson Taxi logos remaining. He drove off without any plates.
A lawyer for MTC noted that most of Abdi`s arrests didn`t lead to convictions. He noted that only the trespassing at the Islamic Center got a conviction. The Taxicab Commission has discretion when issuing a license. Under the law, it must consider giving second chances. The most violent offenses, sex crimes, and crimes involving moral turpitude would likely make the most difference in blocking a taxicab license.