If you’re going to play the “I’m a celebrity” card and expect free cab rides, people should probably know who you are. But that didn’t stop 97.5 The Fanatic nighttime host Tom Byrne (Who?) from using his “celebrity” to try and beat a cab driver out of $5 before allegedly beating him with his fists in the street, according to a police report.
Byrne, who turns 31 next week, was arrested around 2 a.m. Monday after a cab driver told police that he had been punched repeatedly by Byrne whom he picked up a few minutes earlier at 12th and Sansom streets. The driver told police that Byrne asked him to pull over at 6th and Pine streets at which point he began to get out of the car without paying.
When the driver asked for payment of $5, he says Byrne refused to pay and said, “I’m a celebrity. This is my neighborhood. What are you gonna do about it?” After the driver began to follow Byrne down the street, Byrne “Grabbed the complainants glasses and knocked them off his face. Defendant punched complainant in face several times and dragged him,” said Officer Tanya Little, quoting the arrest report.
Police apprehended Byrne at 7th & Pine and he spent the night in jail. His girlfriend posted his bail of $500 Monday night. Byrne was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, robbery and theft of services. He has a preliminary hearing Feb. 3.
Byrne was scheduled to work his shift tonight, but the station decided around 6:30 that he would not work. Byrne declined comment through 97.5 the Fanatic program director Matt Nahigian. Nahigian also declined comment on how long Byrne would be off-air, or whether he had been suspended over the incident.
Byrne, who grew up in Bucks County, hosts 7 to 10 p.m. weekdays on the Fanatic and Eagles post game shows, was announcer for the Scranton Royals, his college basketball team and later worked at 1490 WBCB-AM. Byrne started working for ESPN 950 AM/97.5 The Fanatic in 2008.