A FELLOW HACK KILLED LAST NIGHT
DREAM LIFE'S NIGHTMARE ENDCABBY SLAIN IN HIT-RUN RAGE
By ERIKA MARTINEZ, LARRY CELONA and DAN MANGAN
November 21, 2007 -- The cabby who was fatally mowed down in a road-rage dispute on the Upper East Side yesterday had been "living the American dream" since he came here from Africa, a grieving friend said.
Sudanese émigré Mohamed El Waleed, 44, left behind a 28-year-old wife, Mayada, and two sons, ages 7 and 18 months.
"One life was snuffed out. Three lives were ruined," said pal Ari Hoogenboom.
"He was living the American dream, playing by the rules."
El Waleed had just called his wife in Brooklyn to say he was finishing his shift when he became involved in a dispute with another driver at about 12:25 a.m. near East 65th Street and Madison Avenue, police said.
Witness Russ Garrett, 55, was walking his dog when he saw El Waleed's cab collide near Central Park with a 2005 Nissan Altima.
"They cut each other off, then they backed out of the park and started chasing each other," Garrett said.
El Waleed stopped his car perpendicular to traffic and left the cab waving his hands, trying to get the other driver to halt and exchange insurance information, cops said.
But the other driver panicked because he didn't have the proper paperwork, police sources said.
The nervous Nissan driver repeatedly tried to get around the cab and flee, but each time he swerved his vehicle to escape, El Waleed jumped in front of it, sources said.
The Nissan wound up running over the cabby, pinning him under the car.
The driver and his female passenger then fled, cops said.
The woman was caught by police soon afterward, sources said, and revealed the car was being driven by her unidentified boyfriend, who had borrowed it from a cousin.
Police spoke to that cousin and learned the driver had gone home to his wife and then fled. Law-enforcement sources said the man may have left the city because someone drove him to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Relatives haven't told cops where he is, but did tell detectives he is considering getting a lawyer and turning himself in, sources said.
A funeral for El Waleed is scheduled for today at a Brooklyn mosque. He will be buried in his native city of Omdurman.
El Waleed's wife "just keeps saying she wants to see him," said Entisar Saquery, a friend.
This was the crime scene last night when I went by about 3 in the morning. This is how it ended for him. I send my condolence to his family. I just wished he never got out of the Cab.