Cabbie arrest sparks Newark airport protest

Taxi drivers are once again picking up passengers at Newark Liberty International Airport after staging a five-hour shutdown to protest the arrest of a fellow cab driver.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman said the protest followed the arrest of cabbie Ahmed Deraz around 3 p.m. Friday.

Coleman said his agency used buses to transport incoming passengers to local rail stations to help them get to their destinations.

Coleman also said Jersey City Police Lt. Pietro Veltre was in uniform driving his own vehicle and accused Deraz of cutting him off on the Pulaski Skyway and that he was driving in a reckless manner. Veltre followed Deraz to the cab staging area near the airport, where an argument ensued. Port Authority Police were called and arrested Deraz.

The protest broke up following Deraz's release from custody around 8 p.m.

Newark Liberty is one of the nation's busiest airports, handling about 33 million passengers annually.

AP wires contributed to this report.

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