STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. Oct 4 2020— A livery driver was trying to collect his fare from a passenger who stiffed him but got a beating instead, according to a lawsuit and the driver’s lawyer.
Efehi Izevbuwa had followed the female passenger into the Staten Island Mall on Oct. 12, 2017, when he was assaulted by a security guard who worked in the former Sears department store, said a civil complaint and attorney John M. O’Dowd Jr.
Izevbuwa has sued Jason Lopez, the guard, along with his employer, U.S. Security Associates Inc., over the alleged incident.
The suit was recently filed in state Supreme Court, St. George, and seeks unspecified monetary damages.
The Mall and Sears are not parties to the litigation.
Sears shuttered its store at the mall last year.
The episode occurred around 1:45 p.m., the complaint said.
O’Dowd said Izevbuwa, 59, a Mariners Harbor resident, had driven the passenger to the mall in New Springville, where she exited the cab without paying him.
Suit papers do not identify the woman.
She entered the mall through Sears and approached Lopez, the security guard, said the lawyer, who is based in Sunnyside.
Izevbuwa followed the woman and Lopez as they walked through Sears into the main mall area, said O’Dowd.
While on an escalator, Lopez assaulted Izevbuwa, fracturing his clavicle, O’Dowd said.
Izevbuwa’s injury required surgery to repair, said the attorney.
The complaint does not say whether there was a verbal confrontation before the alleged attack.
The complaint alleges Lopez, while acting in the scope of his employment “violently, intentionally and without provocation, did assault the plaintiff.”
Lopez attacked Izevbuwa “without probable cause or justification,” contends the complaint.
The complaint alleges U.S. Security Associates is negligent for failing to properly train and supervise Lopez.
Attempts to reach Lopez were not immediately successful.
Allied Universal, which public records said acquired U.S. Security Associates in 2018, did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment on the suit.