The much–covered saga of the young woman who couldn’t pay her taxi fare and was forced to give up her iPod instead has, after hopping the traffic divider and making a U-turn, rolled slowly to a halt. First, folksinger James Taylor, upon learning that his songs were among the treasures lost with Natalie Lenhart’s iPod, sent her an mp3 player, but he’s old so he probably sent her one of those unpopular ones. He also criticized the “frontier justice” doled out by the Port Authority cops. Now Lenhart is up rather than down a player, as cabbie Mohammed Islam took receipt of his $49 fare from Lenhart, along with a $51 tip, and returned her iPod. So everything worked out — except justice, because the message this sends to cab drivers is: If your card reader doesn’t work, get the cops to help you extort valuable property from the passenger. Please, let’s wait until New York actually goes back to the ’70s before we get into that law-of-the-jungle stuff.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 27, 2009