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John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

This is a letter I wrote to the City of New Orleans six months ago...never got an answer.




City of New Orleans
Taxicab and For Hire
Vehicle Bureau License
1300 Perdidost
New Orleans La. 70112


RE: American Cab
PNC 780
Permit Number 06LDR-00148
Driver Basil Barakat





To whom it concerns:

   We arrived to the New Orleans airport at 11:00 AM and took the above mentioned cab to the Marriot Hotel on Charles Street. On the way into the city, the driver, a Mr. Basil Barakat was talking to himself at a rapid speed and at some point shared the conversation with us.
   We wish he hadn’t, but what can you do? We’re in a cab going 55 miles an hour.
   Among his ramblings, he rambled a lot, he said that he lived near Jews, so he was safe. However, if “good people” allow their children around “the Black people all they will ever say is fuck, fuck, fuck all of the time. This is all the black people know fuck, fuck, fuck. They are the animals in America”
   We’re not Jewish or Black, but I thought that was a bit over the top and I told him so. He asked “You are the Jew?”
    I said “No I’m black”
   He turned completely around and looked at me.
  After I said “I’m not really black” he turned back around and looked at the road.     
   When we arrived on St. Charles Street, Basil Barakat, still going on about the Jews…he stopped bad mouthing blacks because I think he suspected I might really be secretly black….said he had come down the wrong street, stopped the cab in the middle of busy street and said that he was letting us out….in the middle of the street…..and that we could walk up the street to the hotel.
   We told him we were in our sixties, had four heavy suitcases, didn’t know the city and that he would have to drive to the front door of the Marriot as agreed when we entered cab.
   He insisted that he was doing us a favor…..again old people, heavy suitcases, unknown streets….and that it was too much work for him to drive around the block and that we needed to get out of the cab.
   We repeated our demands to be taken to the front door of the Marriot.
   At top speeds, in a temper tantrum, he drove the wrong way down a one way street and stopped at another corner near St. Charles and told us that the Marriot was around the corner and we could walk. 
   We repeated our demands to be taken to the front door of the Marriot.
   He began laughing hysterically and talking to himself and slamming his fists on the wheel. At this point we realized this guy is not only dangerous, he’s crazy….well actually I thought he was crazy before but the harmless kind of crazy.
   So we got out of the cab, collected our bags and before parting I told Mr. Barakat that I intended to report him to the city of New Orleans. He said he could care less and that you could kiss his ass.
    I do want to point out that when he swears Mr. Barakat is very good…I mean, I think we should try to find the positive in everything don’t you?
   Another cabbie, Mr. Earl Arceneaux Jr. (phone number enclosed) witnessed the final confrontation and took the appropriate information needed to report the cab drive to the city.
   This guy Barakat is, in our opinion and experience, mentally unstable, dangerous and certainly a detriment to your city. I also suspect he doesn't like black people or Jews. 
 You should get him off the streets. 

John William Tuohy





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