Man denies charges he assaulted cab driver, refused to pay fare on South Side

A man is disputing his charges after police said he threatened a cab driver Wednesday after allegedly trying to leave without paying his fare, prompting the driver to lock an 11-month-old child inside and drive away to call police.

Anthony Prewitt is charged with misdemeanor counts of simple assault, criminal damage to property under $500 and theft of services, according to Chicago police.

Police said the driver picked up Prewitt, a female and the child at 2:57 p.m. in the Loop. When they arrived at their destination near the border of Greater Grand Crossing and South Shore neighborhoods, the man tried to leave the cab without paying, according to Chicago police.

The driver, a 60-year-old man, locked the doors while the child was still inside, police said. The man argued with the driver and kicked the cab, at which point the driver left out of fear of being attacked, police said.

The driver stopped a short distance away and called authorities, police said. The passenger also called police to report the incident as an attempted kidnapping.

After speaking to both men, officers took Prewitt into custody, police said.

The child remained with the female passenger and no injuries were reported, police said. The cab driver was not arrested.

Prewitt told the Sun-Times there is video of the incident and said it was a “misunderstanding.”

At no time did he refuse to pay, and he and his wife tried to get his wallet and stroller out of the trunk when the driver immediately locked the doors and sped off, Prewitt said.

He chased the cab, grabbing and breaking a door handle, he said.

Prewitt said he’s having difficulty pressing attempted kidnapping and child endangerment charges against the cab driver.

He is due in court March 16.