Two Charged In Alleged Fight Over GWB Carpool Ride
The alleged incident occurred Thursday morning at a bus stop under Lemoine Avenue in Fort Lee, where carpoolers typically meet up to take advantage of the Port Authority’s Carpool Plan.
Two men were charged with disorderly conduct Thursday morning after an alleged struggle over a carpool ride at the George Washington Bridge, police said.
The incident happened at about 9:45 a.m. at a Fort Lee bus stop on I-95 under Lemoine Avenue, where drivers looking to take advantage of the Port Authority’s discount for carpoolers typically pick up passengers, whether they know them or not, according to officials.
Malik R. Corbitt, 34, of Englewood, and Yoon S. Kwon, 39, of Little Ferry, where each charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly engaging in a physical struggle while trying to get into the same car, police said.
“They had a dispute over who would be able to ride with that individual,” said Port Authority police spokesman Al Della Fave. “A witness alleges that Corbitt punched Kwon on the head and that the two were tugging at a black bag.”
Della Fave added, “They were both released, and then they’ll appear in Fort Lee court to address this issue.”
Kwon was treated at Englewood Hospital for cuts and scrapes on his ear, elbow and neck, and Corbitt’s shirt was torn in the alleged skirmish, NorthJersey.com reported.
A small group of GWB carpoolers, mostly from Fort Lee, recently engaged in a struggle of a different nature with the Port Authority over the right to pick up passengers at the bus stop as they say they have been doing for years.
They started a committee last year to demand a place to legally pick up passengers after the Port Authority—shortly after toll hikes went into effect—started ticketing drivers heading for the tollbooths in Fort Lee for violations like illegally taking on passengers or stopping at a bus stop, in what some considered a “crackdown” and others called a form of “harassment.”
In June, the carpoolers were featured in a Wall Street Journal article about carpooling at the GWB; shortly after the article was published, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered an end to the crackdown.
Port Authority officials have defended the practice of ticketing carpoolers, emphasizing traffic safety and the potential dangers of letting strangers in your car or getting into a vehicle driven by someone you don’t know.
But Della Fave, who has been with the Port Authority since November, stopped short of saying the incident Thursday morning was that type of danger.
“It’s the only incident of this nature that I’m aware of since I’ve been here,” he said.
Fort Lee officials have been working with the Port Authority to find another place near the bridge where would be carpoolers can meet up and take advantage of the agency’s Carpool Plan, essentially a special E-ZPass account that allows people registered for the plan to cross the bridge for just $3.50 if there are three or more people in their vehicle.