ABERDEEN, S.D. — The city of Aberdeen has denied a taxicab license to a man charged with manslaughter in another man’s death last year.
Bradley Quist has pleaded not guilty to felony manslaughter in the May 2015 death of 61-year-old Ronald Witchey, who authorities say died from blunt-force trauma to the face and head.
Quist applied for a cab driver’s license, telling the City Council on Monday that “I need a job,” The American News (http://bit.ly/2bSUHz4 ) reported. He said he once ran a trucking company and hadn’t had an accident.
All taxi cab license requests go before the council and aren’t ordinarily debated.
City Attorney Ron Wager addressed the council, noting that previous councils have singled out people applying for taxi cab licenses and that drivers sometimes have to deal with people who are in vulnerable situations, such as being intoxicated or having physical or mental disabilities.
“I wanted to remind the council that this is a job that is specifically reserved for the council,” Wager said. “On occasion, there is something that comes up that needs consideration of the council in a more thoughtful manner.”
Police Chief Dave McNeil told council members about Quist’s criminal history, which includes including burglary, assaults and drugs.
“In the interest of public safety, we determined that Mr. Quist would not be suitable, in our opinion from a police department standpoint, to fill that role,” McNeil said.
Quist unsuccessfully argued to the council that he has “good moral character.”
Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com