Man charged in shooting of livery cab driver Bell

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Sean Peace, the 22-year-old man accused of shooting livery cab driver Trevor Bell at least four times last month and robbing him of about $100, was arrested and charged with multiple felonies Tuesday, the Queens district attorney said.

Peace was apprehended in a Buffalo apartment Tuesday by officers from the New York Police Department’s Violent Felony Squad an NYPD spokeswoman said, and was brought back to New York City to face charges.

Peace was charged with second-degree attempted murder, assault, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, Peace faces up to 25 years in prison.

“This shooting of a hardworking livery cab driver who is married and the father of six children will be vigorously prosecuted,” DA Richard Brown said in a statement.

The arrest comes as a relief for the Bell family and friends, according to a spokesman for the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers Inc.

“We are relieved that this man was caught. We believe that this guy was a menace to society,” Fernando Mateo said. “The family was very worried that [Peace] would retaliate against Mr. Bell.“

Mateo said that in the five weeks after the shooting, Bell has been slowly recuperating at Jamaica Hospital with one bullet still lodged in his neck. However, Bell is able to walk with a cane.

“Trevor is going better, he is taking it a day at a time,” he said. “There is a lot of pain.”

But while Bell has been sidelined from his work, he has been unable to afford his car payments, Mateo said.

“I’ve made the initial payments,” Mateo said, adding that to top things off, Bell is not eligible for Worker’s Compensation through the state. 

“That’s ridiculous, Worker’s Compensation disapproved his claim,” Mateo said. “They said that you have to lose a limb. It’s totally unreasonable what they’re looking for.”

The incident occurred in the evening on Dec. 3, when Peace alledgedly approached Big D Royal Car Service at 117-02 Merrick Blvd. looking for a ride to a dead-end intersection.

Upon arriving at the destination, Peace allegedly got into an argument with Bell and shot Bell once in each leg, once in the right hand and once in the neck, according to a police spokesman.

Bell was later taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.

In response to the shooting, Mateo issued a statement in which he encouraged drivers to racially profile their passengers.

He then instituted a program whereby taxi and limousine drivers could get bulletproof vests before going out on the job.

“It’s going pretty well. We had drivers suited up last week and have 15 to 17 more vests that we should be distributi­ng,” Mateo said.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 10:42 am, October 12, 2011
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