An attorney representing Alexandria Yellow Cab sent a statement to Patch Tuesday morning saying the company obeyed all laws and procedures in regard to Kashif Bashir, the suspect in the Feb. 27 shooting of Alexandria Police Officer Peter Laboy.
Laboy, who survived a gunshot wound to the head, filed a civil complaint Monday alleging the taxi company was negligent in the hiring and supervision of its drivers and that such negligence contributed to the shooting of a police officer.
• See: Laboy Files $10M Suit Against Alexandria Yellow Cab
Chap Petersen, an attorney with Fairfax-based law firm Surovell, Isaacs, Petersen and Levy representing Alexandria Yellow Cab, issued the following statement:
On behalf of Alexandria Yellow Cab, we pray for the best for Officer Laboy in his recovery from this tragic incident. In regard to the allegations in the recently-filed civil lawsuit, Yellow Cab obeyed all laws and procedures in regard to Mr. Bashir, such as requiring him to be certified by the Alexandria Hack Office which performs criminal background checks for the taxicab industry. Nothing in his four years with the Company could have caused Yellow Cab to anticipate the tragedy that has occurred. Furthermore, Mr. Bashir was off-duty and driving a vehicle which was not owned by the Company, when the incident happened. Regardless, Peter Laboy is a hero and our thoughts and well wishes remain with him and his family as he continues his recovery.
The suit is claiming $10 million in compensatory damages—$5 million for one count of negligent hiring and retention and $5 million for one count of negligent entrustment. The complaint cites damages of lost wages, medical fees and "compensation for mental anguish, pain and suffering."
According to Laboy's complaint, Alexandria Yellow Cab made a vehicle available to Bashir on the day Laboy was shot "for his unsupervised and unrestricted use."
Bashir, 27, is facing criminal charges of one count of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, one count of aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
On May 24, it was announced Bashir will face a mental competency hearing. Bashir's public-appointed defense attorneys said he suffers from auditory hallucinations and believes that people involved in his case are speaking to him telepathically. Bashir is currently being evaluated for a 45-day period to determine if he is fit to stand trial.
• See: Competency Hearing Granted for Suspect in Laboy Shooting
Peterson, the attorney representing Alexandria Yellow Cab, serves in the Virginia State Senate representing parts of central and western Fairfax County in the 34th District. Del. Scott Surovell (D-44th) is also a partner in the firm representing the taxi company.