A brawl between Marathon cab drivers and a bar patron left the latter in a Kendall trauma center with a brain injury and facing a misdemeanor battery charge.
James Meek, 61, was taken to Kendall Regional Trauma Center following the July 16 fight in the parking lot of the Kmart plaza at U.S. 1 and Sombrero Beach Road. An acquaintance said he suffered a possible blood clot in his brain from striking his head on the pavement, and broken ribs.
Cabbie Jeffrey Alberson, 34, told police that about 6:55 p.m. the day of the fight, Meek left the Brass Monkey Lounge, pulled up behind his cab in his Ford Explorer and “began honking his horn to have [Alberson] and other other taxi drivers move out of the way,” Deputy Annette Simo from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office wrote in her report.
Alberson told the deputy he refused to move his cab “because the taxi cabs park there all the time and other vehicles will go around them.”
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That’s when, Alberson said, Meek got out of his car and “walked up to his window and told [Alberson] to move his vehicle or he would ram the car.” Meek then allegedly took a cigarette and “put the lit side into [Alberson’s] ear and then [Meek] punched him through the window on the left side of his neck.”
Alberson couldn’t get out of his car because Meek was blocking the door and his car was too close to another one to open it with Meek there. So another cabbie, Ray Lopez, 31, “ran up behind [Meek] and grabbed [him], then punched him to get him away from the vehicle,” Simo wrote.
Meek went down on the pavement, causing his injuries. He declined to press charges and went home. A friend told him he should get checked out at Fishermen’s Community Hospital. He did, and hospital staff there had him sent to Kendall.
Alberson pressed the simple battery charge against Meek. Several witnesses backed up his account of the events, Simo wrote.
Meek had been drinking in the Brass Monkey, and Simo wrote in her report that he emitted “a smell of alcohol on his breath, had red and glassy eyes, had slurred speech, and would repeat himself multiple times.”
Larry Kahn: 305-440-3218