Austin Amos and Nickolas Porter were indicted by a Queens grand jury Tuesday, Aug. 23, on charges related to the Aug. 13 fatal assault of 52-year-old cab driver Kutin Gyimah in Edgemere, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Wednesday.
The defendant repeatedly punched and kicked the married father of four from the Bronx after he confronted them for an unpaid fare. Two juvenile girls also allegedly participated in the deadly beating of the immigrant from Ghana.
Amos, 20, of 56th Place in Arverne, and Porter, 20, of Hassock Street in Far Rockaway, were arraigned on Friday, Aug. 19, before Queens Criminal Court on a six-count complaint before Judge Diego Friere. Amos was charged with manslaughter, gang assault, and theft of services. Porter was charged with gang assault and theft of services.
According to the charges, at 6:24 a.m. on Aug. 13, Amos and Porter were passengers with three juvenile females in the yellow minivan tax driven by the victim. When the group got out of the vehicle near the intersection of Beach 54th Street and Arverne Boulevard, the defendants refused to pay for the ride and the group ran off in different directions. Gyimah pursued them on foot and caught up to one of the girls.
Video surveillance footage shows the victim and the unapprehended girl become involved in a struggle. Defendant Amos circled back to Gyimah and punched him multiple times causing the victim to fall to the sidewalk. Amos, Porter and two of the girls, including the one who has not been arrested yet, then surrounded the cabbie allegedly punching and kicking the victim as he lay on the pavement.
Katz said Gyimah attempted to regain his footing. When he stood up, Amos stepped forward and allegedly punched him twice in the face causing him to fall back and hit his head on the pavement. The entire group then left him lying motionless on the ground.
Officers from the 101st Precinct responded to the incident and found the cab driver lying in the street, with trauma to the back of his head. EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed the victim to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“The alleged actions of these defendants have tragically taken the life of a hard-working family man cursing his family and the entire city to grieve,” Katz said. “My office will hold them to account for this horrific incident and they will face justice in our courts.”
Judge Friere ordered Amos held without bail and he faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Porter had bail set at $75,000 cash or bond and he faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Meanwhile, the NYPD announced Tuesday they arrested a 13-year-old girl who was charged with gang assault and theft of services. Police arrested a 15-year-old girl last week.
A third girl in the taxi did not participate in the attack and is considered to be a witness, according to the NYPD.