NYC Cabbie Plays Amateur Cop, Saves Life
New York - A Queens woman was behind bars Thursday after authorities said she tried to hire a hitman to kill her estranged husband.
But a curious cabbie helped avert what could have been a deadly situation.
Our courageous cabbie first met this unforgettable fare outside the Port Authority earlier this month.
"She was running. She said 'Let's go, let's go,'" he said.
The nine-year veteran, who didn't want to be identified, said Veronica Escalano wanted him to follow a bus carrying her estranged husband heading home from work.
"She told me, 'Oh it's my husband. I'm following him. I want to know if he's with another girl. I'm sure he has another girl,'" the cabbie said.
The tailing trips in the taxi's backseat became routine.
In all there were at least a half dozen meetings between the cabbie and his furious fare and they were all the same -- they'd meet outside the Port Authority and begin tailing that bus.
"We keep following him. We never see him with no girl," the cabbie said.
Still, her jealous rage seemed to grow to a dangerous level.
"She was mentioning she was to kill him. She wanted something bad happen to him," the cabbie said. "Then she told me, 'Oh I wish I had a gun. Then I shoot him.'"
Sensing the seriousness, the cabbie stepped in with a fake hit man and an attractive price.
"Maybe it's going to cost you like $2,000," the cabbie said.
He said the woman took the bait. The cabbie told Port Authority Police who then arranged for a meeting at a bowling alley with an undercover cop posing as the hitman.
"She meet with the guy and she brings two pictures of her husband. Then she bring $500 deposit," the cabbie said.
The mother of three was arrested. On Thursday night the target of the attempted hit, Ramilo Escalano, told CBS 2 HD, "It's just unbelievable. I can't believe she would do such a thing. She was always thinking I was having an affair, but it's not true."
What is true is this cabbie stepped up and made a difference.
"Yeah, I saved his life," the cabbie said.
He said had he turned away, his conscience would have killed him.
Veronica Escalano has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder.