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Charge Dropped Against Darien Man In Taxi Incident

DARIEN, Conn. – The case against a Darien man accused of attacking a cab driver with a knife was dropped Monday after it was revealed that the cab driver had kept the knife used in the incident.

William Bryan Jennings, an executive with Morgan Stanley, had been accused of stabbing driver Mohammed Ammar in the hand with a penknife in December after a dispute over a fare. He was charged with second-degree assault, sixth-degree larceny and intimidation by bias or bigotry.

Ammar held on to the knife and never turned it over to police, Assistant State’s Attorney Steven Weiss told Judge Kenneth Povodator in Stamford Superior Court. Weiss said he could have brought charges against Ammar for withholding evidence, but decided it was not in the public interest to prosecute either party.

“I simply can’t go forward in a case where I have a victim who concealed evidence from police,” Weiss said.

The state also could have pursued charges against Ammar for unlawful restraint after he drove off with Jennings still in his cab, Weiss said. However, prosecutors decided to file charges against Jennings only because he was uncooperative with police and did not give a good explanation for why he took so long to turn himself in, Weiss said.

“We appreciate the decision of the prosecutor in dropping the charge and making that decision,” Jennings’s lawyer, Eugene Riccio, said outside the courthouse. He said he hopes that “next time someone of importance is arrested and charged with a crime, that everybody, the public and the press, waits until they know all the facts and circumstance of the case in order to avoid prejudging. Mr. Jennings didn’t get that chance, but maybe the next guy or gal will.”

Neither Ammar nor his lawyer, Hassan Ahmad, were present in court Monday.

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