March 5, 2012 at 11:46 AM ET
Is this a case of the 1 percent literally sticking it to the working man? A Connecticut banker is due in court this Friday to be arraigned on charges that he stabbed a cabdriver and used racial epithets when a dispute over a fare allegedly escalated into violence.
William Bryan Jennings, a top executive in Morgan Stanley's North American fixed-income capital markets, was placed on leave, according to the Darien News-Times, after he was arrested and charged with assault, theft of services and bias intimidation.
"We're asking everyone to reserve their judgment," Jennings lawyer, Eugene Riccio, said in a phone interview with msnbc.com.
According to police and court documents cited by the New York Post, Jennings refused to pay a roughly $200 fare for the hour-long drive from Manhattan to his home in Darien after a holiday party last December.
From this point, accounts of the events differ. The New York Times, citing Riccio, reported that the cabbie — identified by the Post as Mohamed Ammar of Queens — demanded nearly $300. When Jennings refused, he said he was going back to New York City and then drove recklessly with Jennings locked inside the vehicle. Afraid for his safety, Riccio told News-Times the banker took out a penknife and that Ammar cut himself when he tried to grab it.
"Our interpretation was this was an abduction -- a criminal abduction," Riccio told Business Insider last week. But while Ammar went to police immediately after the incident, Jennings did not come forward for another two weeks, according to a Darien police lieutenant interviewed by Business Insider.
Police and court documents referenced in the Post tell a different version of the events, one in which an intoxicated Jennings allegedly tried to stiff Ammar upon arrival to his $3.6 million home and then only offered $50 for the ride. Ammar left with Jennings still in the back seat in search of police, at which point Jennings bragged that "the cops wouldn't do anything to him because he pays $10,000 in taxes," according to court documents cited by the Post. An enraged Jennings allegedly then stabbed Ammar, whose injury required stitches.