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Taxi driver swerves in midtown traffic, gets out screaming in knifepoint robbery, Port Authority police say

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

BEYOND BERGEN: A taxi driver swerved across lanes of midtown Manhattan traffic, blowing his horn and nearly hitting a police car, before a Port Authority officer grabbed his knife-wielding passenger.

PAPD Sgt. Raymond Garland spotted the swerving cab on northbound Eighth Avenue near 36th Street around 3 p.m. yesterday and activated his lights and siren, the authority’s Joseph Pentangelo said this morning.

The driver pulled over, got out and shouted: “He put a knife to my throat, and said you’re going to pay me!”

He then pointed to his passenger in the left rear seat, and Garland ordered him out.

In his pocket, the sergeant found a razor-type knife that the driver told him the passenger held to his throat, Pentangelo said.

Identified as 50 years old and homeless, Vincent DiSieno refused to be handcuffed and “resisted by twisting his upper torso away, wildly waving his arms,” he said.

The driver and a good Samaritan passerby helped Garland get DiSieno handcuffed.

Once in the police cruiser he “began screaming and kicking the left rear window (driver’s side),” Pentangelo said, adding that PAPD officers from the Lincoln Tunnel and 42nd Street bus terminal assisted.

The driver told police that he was driving north on Eighth Avenue and discussing the fare when DeSieno “suddenly reached through the plexiglass partition opening, grabbed him by his collar, pulling his neck back, as he held the knife to his throat stating, ‘Now you pay me!’ ”

DiSieno, who had a drug arrest warrant out of Pinellas County, Florida and 18 driving license suspensions, was charged with attempted robbery and weapons possession.

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