Dropping the charges? Wow. Just wow:
Charges against William Bryan Jennings, the Morgan Stanley U.S. bond-underwriting chief accused of stabbing a New York cab driver over a fare, will be dropped, according to Connecticut police.
“I’m aware that the charges are being dropped,” Detective Chester Perkowski of the Darien Police Department said today in an interview. He declined to comment further.
Jennings was accused of attacking the driver, Mohamed Ammar, on Dec. 22 with a 2 1/2-inch blade after a 40-mile (64 kilometer) ride from New York to the banker’s home in Darien. Ammar, a native of Egypt and a U.S. citizen, said Jennings told him, “I’m going to kill you. You should go back to your country,” according to a police report.
Jennings faced assault and hate-crime charges, each of which brings a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He was also charged with not paying the fare, a misdemeanor. He pleaded not guilty March 9.
When last we saw Mr. Jennings, it sure looked like criminal charges looming in his future:
Mohamed Ammar said investment banker W. Bryan Jennings — a $2-million-a-year fat cat for Morgan Stanley — went from being a sweet gentleman he picked up in Midtown to a surly, knife-wielding “drunk” who stiffed him on the $204 fare when they got to Jennings’ Darien, Conn., home.
“I said, ‘You have to pay me. It’s the law,’ ” Ammar recalled at his Queens home yesterday, where he lives with his wife and three children. “He says, ‘What law? You should go back to your own f--king country.’
“I say, ‘This is my f--king country, excuse my language. I’m an American citizen!’ ” said the driver, who is originally from Egypt.
“That’s when he pulled out the penknife . . . He leaned forward and yelled, ‘I’m gonna kill you, motherf--ker!” Ammar said.
“I saw his hand balled up into a fist and I thought he was going to punch me,” the cabby said.
“I put my hand out to protect, and that is when I saw the penknife. He went for my neck first but ended up slashing my hand many times as I was fighting him off . . . My hand was bleeding pretty bad” as Jennings fled on foot, Ammar said.
“He was drunk and out of control, and he could have killed me. That was one of the scariest moments of my life.”
Ammar needed six stitches to close his wounds.