Man charged with assaulting officers over cab fare dispute

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A bizarre ride to Richmond International Airport ends with one man in handcuffs.

Airport officials say a man disputing his cab fare went on a tirade and attacked several police officers. Forty-four year-old Karam Singh is now facing a series of assault charges and one charge for not paying a taxicab driver.

"I've been around the cab business all my life," said taxi driver Thomas Bower. But in all his years behind the wheel he's never had a ride like this. Bower says he picked up a man in South Hill, near the North Carolina state line, on Memorial Day. They were headed to Richmond International Airport, about an hour and a half away.

"He was back there talking," he said.  "He was telling me about being a New York cab driver."

But things got weird when Bower says they reached the terminal. He popped the trunk, got out of his cab and walked around back to pick up the man's luggage. That's when he says Singh cursed at him and threatened to kill him.

He refused to pay the $213 fare he racked up. He says he threw his luggage at Bower and even threw a trash can at him.

"This was completely a shock to me for him to turn a 360 all at one time like that when we got at the airport," Bower said. He's had people stiff him on fares before, but this is a first. "It was nothing like this. This dude was really trying to be violent."

Henrico and Airport Police were able to get Singh under control and handcuff him. Bower says one of the officers told him Singh didn't have any money on him when he was arrested. Now he says he's learned his lesson.

"From now on it's going to be cash up front," Bower said.  "We'll take it from there."

Singh has been arraigned and will be back in court in July.

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