Tuesday around 1:40 p.m., three officers on 15th Street and Eighth Avenue happened by a black male leaning toward a yellow cab with his arms inside the window. We’ve all been there, either negotiating or vomiting or damning the cab driver to hell, but the officers realized this was different. The driver was calling for help.
That’s when one cop in plainclothes, Eric Rivera, walked over to the taxi. The suspect had a knife in his hand, inside the cab.
Rivera screamed at the suspect, stating that he was a cop and ordering the man to drop the knife. That’s when the man, a 40-year-old named Darnel Sanders, pulled himself out of the cab and started walking slowly toward the officer.
“Kill me,” Sanders said.
Rivera retreated quickly, distancing himself from the advancing Sanders, who was focused on Rivera. Using Rivera as a diversion, the remaining two officers, Wilfred Ramos and Dennis Estwick, rushed Sanders, pried the knife from his hand, and arrested him.
Sanders, an Albany resident, was charged with robbery, menacing, and resisting arrest. Everyone, beleaguered cabbie included, walked away uninjured.