Mohamed Ahmed Elsakran, 46, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States worked as a driver for the Access-A-Ride (AAR) paratransit service. Complying with federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, AAR provides public transportation for people with disabilities or health conditions that prevent them from using the public buses and subways for some or all of their trips.
On August 31, 2022, Elsakran was the AAR driver of Catherine Shine, 78, who was heading to a therapy appointment to treat vertigo. She asked to drop her off in front of the doctor’s office but he refused.
At around 3:15 p.m., Elsakran pulled Shine from his car by her leg and took her to the corner on East 35th Avenue in Marine Park, Brooklyn. Ezra Halwani, 35, who was passing by, was able to film the crime and confront Elsakran.
The AAR driver got back into his car and drove it into Halwani. A man passing by on a bike joined Halwani and they stayed with Shine until New York City Police Department officers arrived.
On September 3, 2022, NYPD officers arrested Elsakran arrested and charged him with attempted robbery, assault, vehicular assault, grand larceny, petit larceny and criminal mischief. The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers called for his Taxi and Limousine Commission driving privileges to be immediately suspended or revoked.
Both Halwani and Shine were released after being treated at a hospital. The NYPD released Elsakran after he was issued a temporary order of protection at an arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court.