Shopping Cart Attack May Have Been Part of Taxi Turf War: Sources

The victims were two taxi drivers.

By Katy Tur and Shimon Prokupecz
|  Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012  |  Updated 9:51 PM EDT
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Two men are recovering in the Bronx after a shopping cart was thrown at them from three floors up at the Gateway Center Mall. One of the victims describes the ordeal. John Noel reports.

NBC New York

Two men are recovering in the Bronx after a shopping cart was thrown at them from three floors up at the Gateway Center Mall. One of the victims describes the ordeal. John Noel reports.

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2 Men Injured in Possible Shopping Cart Prank

Police in the Bronx are investigating a possible shopping cart prank that sent two men to the hospital. News4's Katy Tur reports.
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Two cab drivers were hurt when they were hit by a shopping cart pushed from the third floor of a Bronx shopping center in what investigators believe was a targeted attack as part of a taxi driver turf war.

The victims were walking near an entrance of a Home Depot store at the Gateway Center near 149th Street and River Avenue Monday evening when the cart crashed onto their heads, authorities said. 

The men, ages 30 and 52, were rushed to the hospital, where both were listed in stable condition. The older victim, who suffered lacerations to his forehead and a puncture wound, had previously been listed in critical condition, but his condition was upgraded Monday evening.

Sources told NBC New York that investigators believe the men were targeted after some kind of fight with other cab drivers who solicit passengers at the shopping center.

Bystander Elvis Nieves said one victim appeared seriously injured.

"He wasn't mobile. He looked like he was unconscious," Nieves said.

Police are searching for at least one suspect in connection with the attack, which was the second time someone has been injured in a shopping-cart toss in recent months.

Last October, a 47-year-old Manhattan woman was slammed in the head by a cart thrown from the fourth floor of an East Harlem shopping center.

Two 12-year-old boys pleaded guilty in the case, but have not yet been sentenced.

The victim in the October incident, Marion Salmon Hedges, was in a medically induced coma after the cart fell on her. Her family has said she'll need months of rehabilitation.

Her husband, Michael Hedges Jr., said in a statement Tuesday that the family's thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of the injured men.

"We know only too well the scope of this tragedy and the long road that lies ahead for them," he said.

Hedges said the family is pursuing legal action against the mall owner in her case.

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