A late-night taxi ride from Montauk’s Memory Motel to Lee Court in the hamlet and then to Gilbert Road ended in a violent beating for one of the riders, who objected to being charged $50 for the trip.
East Hampton Town police Capt. Chris Anderson said Tuesday that the passenger, Kempton John Coady, 27, of upstate Stamford, N.Y., suffered a black eye and a split lip. Police, who are continuing to investigate the incident, have not released the name of the cab company.
Mr. Coady got into the taxi, which was parked outside the motel, at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, with two companions. The first was dropped off at Lee Court, less than five minutes away, “without incident,” police said. Mr. Coady and the other passenger, whom police did not identify, then asked to go to Gilbert Road.
Upon arrival, the driver told the two the fare was $50. Mr. Coady said he only had $40, and they came to blows soon after.
Local cabbies have complained for some time that out-of-town drivers, some from as far away as New York City, are charging exorbitant fees for short rides in and around Montauk. According to Jerry Uribe, a driver with Surf Taxi, a year-round company in the hamlet, the fare, based on the starting point, should have been $22 to Gilbert Road with the three passengers and the extra stop. With one passenger, he said, and without the extra stop, it would have been $10, a little less for a regular passenger known to the company.
Many out-of-town cabs were seen parked in various lots around Montauk, from the train station all the way to the Lighthouse, early Saturday and Sunday mornings, with cabbies asleep inside. On Monday morning the out-of-town cabbies had departed, along with the weekend crowd, and parking in Montauk was once again plentiful.