Top Stories 2012: Charges Dropped In Darien Taxi Case

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Charges against Darien executive William Bryan Jennings were dropped after a dispute with a taxi driver last year. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Darien Police Department

DARIEN, Conn. — As 2012 draws to a close, The Darien Daily Voice is looking back at some of the biggest stories of the year.

Charges against former Morgan Stanley executive William Bryan Jennings were dropped in October. Jennings had been accused of getting into an altercation with a cab driver late last year.

In late December 2011, cab driver Mohammad Ammar told police he had picked up Jennings in Manhattan after a holiday party and agreed to drive him back to Darien. According to police, the two agreed on a fare of more than $100 before setting out.

Ammar told police that when they arrived in Darien, Jennings refused to pay the fare, shouted racial slurs, stabbed Ammar in the hand with a penknife and fled. The driver needed stitches on his hand as a result, police said.

Jennings turned himself in to police in early March and was charged with second-degree assault, sixth-degree theft of services and intimidation by bias or bigotry. He pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance.

Jennings's lawyer later filed a motion to have the charges dismissed, saying that Ammar made contradictory statements to police and that detectives knowingly included false information in their investigation. In his statement to police, Jennings said he and the driver did not agree on a price in advance and said Ammar tried to charge him $300. When Jennings refused to pay, Ammar tried to drive him back to New York, Jennings told police.

Jennings said he tried to call the police, but Ammar tried to grab his phone and his penknife, cutting himself. Jennings said he did not initially contact police because he was afraid Ammar would retaliate.

The charges against Jennings were dropped Oct. 15 after it was revealed that Ammar had kept the penknife used in the incident. He had found it in his cab shortly after reporting the altercation but never turned it over to police. Prosecutors said they could have charged Ammar with withholding evidence but decided to drop the case against Jennings rather than have two cases run simultaneously.

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