Honest Cabbie Returns 30 Lost Diamond Rings

The Daily News reminds us that there are some really honest people in NY City.

New York Daily News - A heavenly hack
Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Chowdhury Osman is one gem of a cabbie.

Not only did the Queens taxi driver graciously accept a passenger's 30-cent tip on a nearly $11 ride, but hours later he tracked her down and returned the black travel bag she left in the cab's trunk.

It contained two small display cases with 31 diamond rings tucked inside.

He never considered keeping the sparkling treasure for that would have darkened his soul, he explained yesterday.

"I'm a hard worker," the soft-spoken cabbie said. "I enjoy my life. I'm satisfied. I'm not going to take someone else's money or property to make me rich. I don't want it that way."

The woman, who said she was a jeweler, wanted to give Osman, an emigrant from Bangladesh, a handsome reward. He grudgingly accepted $100 as compensation for the income he didn't make picking up passengers because he was on his mission to do the right thing.

"When I find something left in my cab, and I can return it to the owner, I feel very happy. I feel proud," he said.

Osman drove the jeweler from the Hilton New York to an E. 35th St. apartment building Monday night. The fare was $10.70. She gave him a $20 and asked for $9 back.

He took the three-dime tip in stride.

You never know what's in people's minds or purses, he said, explaining his thinking. They might be distracted. They might be broke. Besides, most passengers tip well, he said.

A group of three travelers with luggage who hailed Osman's cab at 10 p.m. Monday discovered the abandoned bag when they opened the trunk.

Osman returned to the E. 35th St. building but didn't go in. There were more than a dozen apartments, and it was late. He feared that roaming the halls and banging on doors might startle a resident, who might then think he was an intruder.

"They might shoot me," he said.

The cabbie - still unaware what was inside the bag - took it to the Manhattan headquarters of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a drivers' advocacy group with whom he also is an organizer. He and the alliance president, Bhairavi Desai, peeked inside as they looked for a name or telephone number for the owner.

Osman, who makes as little as $300 a week when business is slow, was stunned by what he found.

After many telephone calls, a relative of the diamond dealer was contacted in Texas. The woman dealer was alerted to the find. She hurried to the alliance office about 12:30 a.m. yesterday.

"This shows that that taxi drivers are heroes of our streets," Desai said. "They are hardworking and honest and selfless."

The woman, whose name is being withheld by the Daily News, couldn't be reached for comment.


Anonymous said...

He is a hero, no doubt.
What would a frum Jew have done, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Why should Shmuel wonder? Obviously, you'll have all types from any group. The more important question Shmuel could've asked is, "What would I do, I wonder?"