Passengers often complain that they can’t find a reliable ride home. Yet, some taxi and Uber drivers complain that it is even harder to find a passenger who isn’t going to cause trouble. The poster child of bad riders must be the Miami neurologist who became an infamous YouTube celebrity after her epic meltdown. Dr. Anjali Ramkissoon was drunk and wanted to go home. She ordered an Uber, but the driver never showed up. When another Uber showed up, she tried to hijack the vehicle. The driver refused to give her a ride and the doctor flipped out. She swore, threw items, punched people, all while caught on tape. The incident was so bizarre that she subsequently lost her job and medical license. And yet, compared to the actions of a Hong Kong taxi rider, Dr. Ramkissoon seems sane.
The passenger, identified only as 28-year-old Mr. Chan, went on a 15-minute ride at 11:00am on a Saturday morning. Upon arriving at his destination in the Castle Peak suburb of Tuen Mun, the fare for the ride came to $25 USD. Upon hearing the cost, Chan observed that he did not have any money on him. After asking for a free ride, which the 71-year-old driver Mr. Cheng refused, he suggested Chan get the money from his relatives.
A short drive later, Cheng and Chan sat outside of a lavish home. While accompanying his passenger, Cheng knocked on the front door, but no one answered. Back in the taxi cab, Cheng again asked for his payment. Chan started smoking and refused to speak. Suddenly the driver saw his passenger spray a liquid all over the back of the vehicle. Chan bolted. Before giving chase, the elderly driver smelled paint thinner. His screams alerted bystanders to the fleeing fare jumper. The good samaritans detained Chan until police arrived.
Unfortunately, the fire department arrived first, causing Cheng to run back to his taxi with a sinking feeling in his stomach. To his horror, his criminal passenger had set the paint thinner ablaze with his cigarette before running away. The cab burned for 30 minutes and spread to surrounding vehicles. Police charged Chan with resisting arrest, failure to pay his taxi fare, and arson. When asked why he set the vehicle on fire, Chan said he was upset the vehicle did not have black leather seats. Despite a lawyer arguing that Chan is legally insane, a judge sentenced the man to seven years in jail.
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