Father arrested when trying to help his kids is reinstated.

In Taxi and Limousine Comm'n v. F.B., OATH Index No. 3086/23, the driver was arrested based on a complaint by his estranged wife. The charge was criminal obstruction of breathing, a misdemeanor. The wife alleged that she got into an argument with he husband when they met in front of their home (where the wife still lived). The wife told the police that he husband became frustrated with her and grabbed her neck and applied pressure. But the wife did not lose consciousness, admitted she was in no pain and sustained no injury.  Dan Ackman represented the driver.

F.B. testified fully about the incident. He denied choking his wife. But he also testified that he and his wife have had an acrimonious relationship since their separation, mostly related to issues concerning their two small children, one who has autism. He added that on the day in question, his wife was with their children in her apartment. She telephoned respondent in the morning, and he heard their older child “crying” and “screaming.” She said that she could not control the children and needed respondent's help and asked him to come to the house. He said that he would come and bring their son's tablet, which he loves to play with, as well as a toy stroller. That was the only reason he was even at their former home.

OATH Judge Lewis recommended reinstatement. While OATH is required to assume the arrest charges are "true," the judge noted that the driver denied assaulting or choking his wife. The charges also involved  off-duty misconduct, making any potential threat to the public less “direct. In addition, the  police report noted that there was no visible injury and no pain. Nor was there any indication  escalating violence or that the wife had previously filed domestic charges. Thus, "The undisputed evidence [was] that the driver had never been arrested before. That he was a good driver without any passenger complaints further suggests that this was an isolated incident in an otherwise law-abiding life.

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