Long Island, N.Y. - Two of chauffeur Mario Najeraâ??s clients â?? a bride and groom â?? turned unruly and violent after Najera asked them to pay the total cost of the job on June 21. Najera left them on the side of the road, about a half-mile from their Long Island wedding reception.
â??I didnâ??t just leave them, I talked to them nicely at first, but they started cursing, saying they were going to beat me up,â? said Najera, who was working for Designer Limousines in Port Washington, N.Y. The couple, TV actress Lisa Smith and pilot Spencer Smith II, started kicking the vehicle. Najera said he stopped the car because he became afraid for his own safety.
Najera was schedulded to do another wedding that afternoon, and the coupleâ??s dawdling had already made him late.
Najera asked the couple for the money before he finished his route from the church to the restaurant where the reception was being held. The couple said they offered Najera half the money he demanded, but didnâ??t have the rest on them.
Najera has been suspended from company and most likely will not be allowed to return. â??I support what he was trying to do, but his methods were flawed,â? said Ken Caldwell, owner of Designer Limousines. But he said that he understood that Najera was faced with a difficult situation.
â??Drivers know, when you need to collect from weddings when you do overtime, these people donâ??t want to pay. They threatened his life, they stole they guyâ??s keys for the next wedding, this was a big fiasco. The guy wound up being an hour late for the next wedding because of it,â? Caldwell said.