Anton Nigosian had a small problem today at the end of a cab ride from Manhattan to his home here (Hackensack NJ). The fare on the meter read $15.05 and Mr. Nigosian told the cabby he could not pay it. Off they went to a local bank for the money.
Mr. Nigosian emerged from the bank with enough money to cover the fare, plus about $17,000 more, the police said. Within an hour he was arrested on a bank-robbery charge.
The adventure began about noon, according to the police, when Mr. Nigosian hailed a cab driven by Vincent Torres at 14th Street and Avenue B in Manhattan and asked to be driven to Hackensack. The 20-minute trip was uneventful until Mr. Nigosian came up financially shy.
He told Mr. T to wait while he got the fare at home. In a few minutes he returned, saying he was locked out and had to go to the bank to withdraw money for the fare.
Inside the bank, Mr N handed the teller a note demanding money and warning that he was armed. The note had been typed by Mr. N in the stop at his home. He had entered the house through the rear door.
The teller put about $17,000 in a brown paper bag and gave it to Mr N who left quietly and returned to the cab where Mr T was still waiting with the meter still ticking. Mr. N asked to be taken home again and Mr N obliged, but not before bank officials who had followed Mr N saw the cab drive off into busy main street traffic. By the end of the return trip the fare had grown to $30. Mr. N paid it and added a $2 tip. Mr T left for Manhattan unaware that an alarm for his cab was on all police radios. About a half mile from the Nigosian home, the cab was spotted and within minutes six police cars converged on Mr T. “He was shaking, as scared as he could be. He didn’t move his hands an inch,” said Lt John Aletta.
Mr T, declaring he was innocent of wrongdoing returned with the police to the N. house. Back-up units were called, the house was surrounded and Mr N was told over a loudspeaker to come out. He jumped out a rear first floor window but within view of police and was apprehended. Mr N told police he had been released 2 days before from an Odyssey House drug rehabilitation center in Manhattan.
Mr T was permitted to return to New York but he had to return the $32. He was given a receipt by the police and his Manhattan garage said he would not be docked for the missing fare.
Excerpt from Robert Hanley May 18, 1977 New York Times