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Driver accused of dragging woman, 78, out of cab and running over a man who tried to help her

“The driver pulled her out of the vehicle by her leg and took her phone for a short period of time,” the New York City Police Department said. Video shows the woman on the ground, striking him with her cane.
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A driver pulled a 78-year-old woman out of a cab, left her on the street and hit a witness who tried to help her in an incident caught on camera, the New York City Police Department said.

Officers responded to reports of an assault at around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to the department.

A preliminary investigation found that the woman had been in the backseat of an Access-a-Ride cab when she got into a dispute over the location where she was meant to be dropped off, police said. Access-a-Ride is a transportation service for those with permanent or long-term disabilities.

"The driver pulled her out of the vehicle by her leg and took her phone for a short period of time," police said. They said the driver then struck a 35-year-old man who was filming the incident and who tried to help the elderly woman, before driving away from the scene.

In video of the incident shared online by Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol, a neighborhood watch group, the driver can be seen appearing to pull the woman out of the vehicle and onto the street before shutting the door as she begins to strike him with her cane.

"Guys, what's going on?" the person filming can be heard asking as they approach.

"Call the police!" the woman shouts before accusing the driver of also taking her phone. The driver then appears to hand the phone over to the witness and walk away.

"This is an old woman," the witness says as the driver gets back into their car. "Can you not do that? Can you not stop and run away?"

“You’re going to have to run over,” he continues before he’s cut off midsentence and hit by the driver, who took off from the scene.

"He took my money, he took my phone!" the woman cries as the witness goes to help her up.

Police said both the woman and man were taken to a hospital.

In a tweet Wednesday, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission said it was “on the scene” of the incident. The commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

In the tweet sharing the video, Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol called the incident "disturbing" as they implored anyone with information to contact authorities.

Police said an investigation into the incident was ongoing and that no arrests had been made as of Friday morning.