Cops: Teens beat cabbie and passenger

In a horrific assault in Center City Saturday night, three teenagers who were spouting off racial slurs pulled a man out of a cab to beat him and when the cab driver intervened to stop the assault, the teens turned their rage on him, according to police.

Around 8:23 p.m., a Liberty Taxi cab was stopped at a red light at 15th and Chestnut streets when two 17-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy approached the cab and started calling the male passenger in the back seat racially derogatory names, police said.

The boys then threw an unknown liquid at the cab before they opened the door and pulled the passenger out and started pummeling him, according to police.

When the cabbie got out of the car to see what was going on, the passenger ran away and the teens turned on the cabbie. They punched him in the face, kicked him and threw an unknown liquid on him, police said.

Despite being outnumbered, the cabbie was able to grab a tire iron from his trunk at which time the teens ran away. The taxi driver was able to flag down a nearby officer and all three boys were arrested and charged as juveniles with aggravated assault and related offenses.

The cab driver suffered an injury to his right eye and had stomach and side pain, police said. The passenger remains unidentified.

Police said the three teens were black and the cabbie and passenger were white. Police did not immediately know if the teens would or could face hate crime charges.