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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Death of livery cabbie detained by TLC officers ruled a homicide

The death of a livery cab driver who suffered cardiac arrest while he was being detained on Thursday night has been ruled a homicide — and his outraged family members want to know why no one contacted them for more than 16 hours.

City officials say Luiz Mauro Machado, the 61-year-old father of NBA basketball player Scott Machado, died at Kennedy Airport as Taxi and Limousine Commission officers were arresting him for illegally picking up fares. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital but could not be revived.

Machado’s wife was frantic when he didn’t come home. Baffled family members said the cabbie had ID on him.

“My mother had to call 911 to find out what happened to our father,” Leo Machado told the Daily News. “(The NYPD) made calls and found out through the Port Authority police that my father had died .... It’s more than 48 hours later and we still don’t know the circumstances.”

The city’s medical examiner on Saturday said Machado’s death has been ruled a homicide because he “died while TLC officers were trying to take him into custody.” Spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said the Queens district attorney’s office will decide whether to charge any of the TLC agents involved in the arrest.

Sources said Machado had a suspended driver’s license and did not possess a license to operate a cab.

“(Once) he began to experience distress, the handcuffs were immediately removed and an ambulance was called,” a TLC spokesman said.

Machado’s family said the father of six turned to driving livery cabs when the furniture business where he worked for decades was sold and the workers were laid off.

By Joanna Molloy AND Thomas Tracy / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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