Tuesday, March 01, 2016

When you abuse a Muslim cab driver in Washington, DC: No charges were ever filed

"In the government’s extensive rap sheet on Simmons, the picture that emerges is not of a cynical fraudster but of a man living in a fiction of his own creation. The U.S. attorney’s office shared with me a particularly troubling police report from January 2007. Two police officers in Annapolis, Md., were called to Church Circle, right in the center of town, to break up a street fight. They arrived to find Syed Mohammed Azizur-Rehman, a 53-year-old taxi driver, lying face down on the street; nearby, they found Simmons screaming, ‘‘He has a bomb!’’ Simmons claimed that during a ride in Azizur-Rehman’s cab, the driver started ranting about his hatred of America and announced that he had a bomb in the trunk. After grabbing his cellphone, which Simmons believed to be the detonator, he forced Azizur-Rehman to stop the car and subdued him. He was a former C.I.A. officer, he told the Annapolis Police, and he advised them to call the White House or Fox News to vouch for him.  A crowd assembled. Bomb dogs were called in. The driver, meanwhile, explained his side of the story. He picked up Simmons at a downtown steakhouse. Simmons hopped in, handed him a $20 bill and told him to just drive; he wouldn’t say where he wanted to go. Once they reached Church Circle, with seemingly no explanation, Simmons grabbed the driver’s cellphone and ordered him to stop the car. Simmons pulled Azizur-Rehman out of the car and started kicking him.  Needless to say, a bomb-sniffing dog failed to find any explosive devices in the car. At the local precinct, the police called the C.I.A. and spoke to a supervisor, who advised them to ‘‘take appropriate action’’ — whatever that meant. They called Corinne Simmons, and she told them Wayne was depressed and was supposed to be at a support group for retired government employees the previous day, but it had been canceled. Simmons was taken to the hospital for observation. No charges were ever filed."