Cabbie, Passenger's Argument Over Driving Directions Leads to Stabbing, Crash

Police responding to a cab crash in Rye arrested the driver after discovering he'd stabbed his passenger during an altercation that led to the accident, authorities say. 

Police say the driver, 61-year-old Frankie Phelps got into an argument with his 28-year-old passenger over driving directions after picking him in Mount Vernon. 

Phelps pulled over and tried to get the passenger out of the cab, and allegedly stabbed the victim with a pocket knife about six times, police said. Phelps then tried to drive away but the victim tried to stop him and got into the front passenger seat, where the two continued to fight.

Phelps ended up crashing the vehicle a couple blocks away, police said. 

A neighbor said he watched the out-of-control taxi, with its doors open, smash over a curb and into a tree.

"It's the kind of thing you see in the movies, not something you expect to see in your own neighborhood," said the man, who declined to give his name.

"I started walking toward them to see if the man needed help," he continued. "I realized it was two people, and they were on the ground fighting." 

Police officials said they found the victim bleeding profusely in the chest area. 

"Mr. Phelps was apparently on top of the victim," said Police Commissioner Michael Corcoran.

"There was blood in the taxi cab so definitely appeared that it was a violent encounter," he said. 

Corcoran says Phelps was also operating without a proper taxi license. 

No one else was hurt. The victim is recovering, police said. 

Phelps was arrested on charges of first-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Attorney information wasn't immediately available. 

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