The taxi came to a stop after 10 meters, when it crashed into a traffic sign, and the driver tried to make his escape as an angry mob was trying to get a hold of him. They eventually caught up with him, and his best defense was “It wasn’t me,” reports in the media say.
The driver has been identified as Chyngyz Anarbek Uulu, 28, and he is now in police custody. Authorities are not treating the incident as a terrorist attack, and Uulu backs up the story by blaming it on exhaustion, The Sun reports.
Apparently, he’d been working 20-hour shifts for days, surviving on a little over a couple of hours a sleep at night. He says he tried to hit the brakes on his car but stepped on the acceleration instead; after that, he blacked out.
“I don't know what happened… I regret very much,” he told investigators. “I wanted to stop, I wanted to let one man pass. I wanted to stop, it was just one second and I pressed the accelerator instead. And I thought I was pushing the brakes, I don't know, and I passed out…. And then I saw people being pushed… and then I ran away.”
Uulu maintains he didn’t run because of guilt but because he was afraid for his life. As angry men rushed to detain him, punches and kicks flew freely, and he thought they might even kill him on the spot.
“I was afraid, they would have killed me, so many people there,” he says. At the time, he didn’t even have a full grasp of what he’d done, so his instinct kicked in and he tried to flee.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called the incident “an unpleasant” one on social media, adding that the driver simply lost control of the vehicle. Uulu remains in police custody.