Two Rockaway men arraigned on homicide, assault charges in fatal attack of taxi driver in Edgemere

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Austin Amos (l.) and Nickolas Porter are awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on gang assault charges after the fatal beating of a cab driver in Edgemere. (Photos by Lloyd Mitchell)

A fourth arrest has been made in the beating death of 52-year-old cab driver Kutin Gyimah in Edgemere on Aug. 13. The NYPD announced that a 13-year-old girl was arrested Tuesday and charged with gang assault and theft of service. Her identity was withheld because she is a juvenile.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz on Aug. 19 announced that Austin Amos, 20, and Nickolas Porter, 20, were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court where they were charged with manslaughter, gang assault and theft of services related to the fatal attack.

Police walk Austin Amos out of the 101st Precinct on Aug. 18. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)
Police walk Nickolas Porter out of the 101st Precinct on Aug. 18. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

According to the complaint, 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, 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.

A 52-year-old New York City cab driver was killed after an apparent robbery attempt in Queens on Aug. 13, 2022. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

The victim was an immigrant from Ghana who settled in the Bronx where he lived with his wife and four children.

“As alleged, these two defendants, with two juveniles, fatally assaulted a taxicab driver after he confronted them for fare evasion,” Katz said. “An entire family is now grieving the tragic and senseless loss of their loved one because of their abhorrent behavior. My office will continue working with the NYPD to make sure that all those responsible for this horrific incident are brought to justice. These two defendants are in custody and face a lengthy prison term is convicted for their criminal actions.”

Amos, of Beach 56th Place in Arverne, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on a six-count complaint charging him with gang assault, manslaughter and other charges, and was ordered held without bail. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Porter, of Hassock Street in Far Rockaway, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on charges of gang assault and theft of services and had bail set at $75,000 cash or bond. Porter faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

A third girl in the taxi did not participate in the attack and is considered to be a witness, according to the NYPD.

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