Cabbie arrest sparks Newark airport protest

June 3, 2011 - 6:28 PM

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Taxi drivers are refusing to pick up passengers at Newark Liberty International Airport after one of them was arrested following a confrontation with a Jersey City police officer.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman said his agency is using buses to transport incoming passengers to area rail stations to help them get to their destinations. Coleman said the protest followed the arrest of cabbie Ahmed Deraz around 3 p.m. Friday.

Coleman said Jersey City Police Lt. Pietro Veltre was in uniform driving his personal vehicle and claims Deraz cut him off on the Pulaski Skyway and drove in a reckless manner. Veltre followed Deraz to the cab staging area near the airport, where an argument ensued.

Port Authority Police were called and arrested Deraz.