A man who said he thought he was just helping a woman in need is accused of running an illegal taxi service. Miami-Dade
County's Consumer Services Department has slapped Rosco O'Neil with
$2,000 worth of fines, but O'Neil claims he is falsely accused.....
The 78-year-old said he was walking into a Winn-Dixie to get some
groceries when he was approached by a woman who said she needed a ride.
"She asked me, 'Do I do a service?'" O'Neil said.
"I told her no. She said, 'I need help getting home.'
"O'Neil told the woman if she was still there when he finished his shopping, he would give her a ride. She was, so he did.
it turned out, the woman was an undercover employee with the consumer
services department targeting people providing illegal taxi services.
said the reason she targeted him (is because) she saw him sitting in
his car for a few minutes," said Ellen Novodeletsky, O'Neil's attorney.
O'Neil dropped off the woman, police surrounded him, issued him two
citations and impounded his minivan. On top of the fees, it cost O'Neil
an additional $400 to retrieve his minivan from the impound lot.
There are no prior complaints that O'Neil was providing illegal transportation for a fee.
I don't care if he was running a business or being a good Samaritan -- I see no possible reason that this type of transaction should be illegal.