In TLC v. Lei, the TLC suspended the driver following his arrest for assault in the third degree, attempted assault in the third degree; menacing in the third degree, and harassment in the second degree, all misdemeanors. ALJ Garcia recommended reinstatement.
The arrest report presented at the hearing alleged that the driver slapped his girlfriend in the face several times and pushed her to the ground, causing her “pain and ringing about the ear” and “fear further physical injury” as well as alarm and annoyance.
The driver denied the charge and testified that on the day in question, he drove his girlfriend, their infant child, and his mother to a doctor's appointment. The driver said that as he drove home his girlfriend began to throw pieces of chicken at him, as she was angry with him, apparently because she believed he flirted with an employee at the restaurant where he bought the chicken. Later, the driver said, his girlfriend hit him after he told her to stop throwing food at him. The driver's mother testified as well, backing her son's version of events.
The ALJ urged reinstatement, concluding that the driver's testimony was consistent, detailed and corroborated. Moreover, the alleged crime conduct occurred off-duty and there was no record of any passenger complaint against the driver, who also had no prior criminal history.