By David Brand
A Bronx taxi driver was sentenced to three years in prison for attacking a rival cabbie with a tire iron at JFK International Airport in March 2017.
Nathaneal Santana, 28, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and third-degree intimidating a witness before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron in September. Justice Kron sentenced Santana on Wednesday.
In a statement, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Santana attacked the victim after they argued over a fare and threatened to kill him if he reported the violent assault, which results in deep head wounds.
“The defendant’s vicious attack left the victim in a great deal of pain and in fear for his safety,” Brown said. “The victim suffered lacerations to his head, extensive bleeding and had to receive several staples.”
At about 8:15 p.m. on March 20, 2017, Santana approached the victim, a Yonkers resident, outside JFK’s Terminal Five and threatened to kill him. He left, returned with a tire iron and bashed the victim on the head, according to the criminal charges.
Port Authority police tried to arrest Santana, but he drove away. Officers engaged him in a high speed chase along the Van Wyckoff Expressway before he pulled over at Conduit Avenue and 134th Place, Brown said.
Officers recovered the tire iron in his car and Santana admitted to attacking the victim.
“I was upset,” he told police, according to the charges. “That was the first thing that came to mind.”
He said he fled the scene because he feared retaliation from the victim.