20-year-old charged with manslaughter in death by taxi driver in Queens

EDGEMERE, queens (WABC) — A 20-year-old man has surrendered to police and is now charged with manslaughter in the death of a taxi driver in New York City.

Austin Amos walked into the station building of the 101st Precinct in Far Rockaway, Queens, with his mother on Wednesday evening after investigators released videos of the suspects wanted in the death of 52-year-old Kutin Gyimah.

Police say Gyimah hit his head on Saturday during an altercation with evasive passengers.

Amos has six previous arrests, including theft, criminal mischief, criminal contempt and sexual misconduct.

A second man, also 20, also arrived at the police station on Wednesday evening. He is still being interrogated.

Two girls, aged 13 and 15, are still wanted for their alleged role in the attack.

A 16-year-old girl initially identified by detectives is no longer wanted.

Detectives believe Amos dealt the final blow to the taxi driver, sending him to the curb and possibly causing his death.

Surveillance video shows the moment Gyimah was beaten and fell on his head. His wife, Abigail Gyiham, said she was relieved by the news of the arrest.

“He was my children’s hero,” she said. “He was my backbone. He was the one I looked up to. I look up to God, but besides God, he was the only one I looked up to. And now his life just ended.”

The couple has four children, ages 3, 5, 7 and 8.

“He was my backbone,” she said over the weekend. “I’m lost now. My kids here. I don’t know what to do now. I’m lost. I’m lost in this world.”

Gyiham’s colleagues described him as a man who worked restlessly, especially during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This gentleman was driving his taxi, he never stopped taking passengers,” said fellow driver Spyros Drakos. “This is a hero to me, as are the first responders. If a doctor, a nurse, someone or a relative had to go somewhere, he would drive the taxi and never stop.”

According to police, they were attempting to rob him when Kutin Gyimah dropped off five passengers near Beach 54th Street and Arverne Boulevard in Edgemere just before 6:30 a.m. instead of paying for the ride.

Police said Gyimah was chasing them and was attacked.

He suffered a serious head injury and was taken to St. John’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“Her husband went to work…as he did every day at 5 a.m., and he’s never coming back,” said Fernando Mateo of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers. “This man picked them up to take them where they wanted to go. Why kill the man?’

The federation is also raising money to help the Gyiham family pay for the funeral with a GoFundMe page.

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