MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Twin Cities man with disabilities says five different cab drivers refused to take him home. It happened Saturday night when Mike Cohn went to leave Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in St. Louis Park.
A muscle disorder robbed Mike Cohn of some of his movement and speech, but his love for live music has never slowed.
“I go there a lot to see bands and dance,” Cohn said.
A regular at Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar, Cohn went on Saturday to celebrate his birthday.
Around midnight he walked to the taxi stand, ready to take the 1.5 mile trip home.
“The first cab said I had to pay $20,” Cohn said.
Mike says that driver wanted to charge him a $10 fee for his walker. He says the next driver ignored his request for a ride.
“Didn’t even try to help me at all,” Cohn said.
Cohn then asked a security guard from Toby Keith’s for help.
Shawn Johnson is the head of Security, Toby Keith’s.
“I knocked on his window and the guy wouldn’t even look at me. He knew I was there, knew I worked here and wouldn’t even face me,” Johnson said.
Johnson says three more drivers, all from Blue and White Taxi, turned him down.
“Very upsetting for me to see it,” Johnson said.
Blue and White told WCCO they’re trying to get to the bottom of which drivers are to blame.
“I’d like to apologize to him,” Jeremy Kramer said.
Kramer said in the four years he’s been at Blue and White, he’s never heard a complaint of something like this before. The company employs 300 drivers. It’s using GPS technology to attempt to track the drivers down that would have been in that area that night.
Suzie Buchkoski is Cohn’s Personal Car Assistant and his cousin.
“Nobody should be treated that way. All he was trying to do was to get home just like anybody else,” Buchkoski said.
A bouncer eventually took him home that night. More than two hours after Cohn first tried.
Cohn and Johnson never wrote down any numbers from those cabs. Blue and White says that’s what people need to do if they have a problem with a driver so they’re able to know who it is.
Federal law says taxi drivers can’t charge additional fees for the storage of a walker or wheelchair, and drivers can’t deny a ride based on a disability.