- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 16, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Noble: Ahmed Ibrahim, the New York City cab driver who doubles as a matchmaker.

New Yorkers aren’t always seen in the warmest of lights. So, through Cupid’s lens, this week’s Noble is heralded for bring for bringing a little romance to New York City. While chatting with passengers, Mr. Ibrahim gathers information about them and their preferences in a partner. When he finds a suitable match, he connects the two and hope love blossoms.

And blossom it has. Mr. Ibrahim sets up dates for eight persons each week and over the years has seen 19 of his couples last for more than a year. His process has become more involved, too. He screens potential clients to make sure they are serious about settling down, and if they pass muster, he sends an e-mail questionnaire to find out things like religious views and professional information.

Mr. Ibrahim would hardly give “Dolly” the matchmaker a run for anyone’s money, but, thus far, the “cupid cab driver” does give a new reason to love New York.

For helping to connect hearts in the Big Apple, Ahmed Ibrahim is the Noble of the week.

Knave: Charlotte Marshall-Jones, who abused a paralyzed man in a Florida jail.

News and videotape surfaced recently about a quadriplegic man who was dumped out of his wheelchair by a deputy at the Hillsborough County, Fla., jail. Brian Sterner, 32, was paralyzed from the chest down in a wrestling accident as a teenager. He was ticketed in October for a traffic violation, while driving a car with special hand controls, and missed his subsequent court date. He was arrested and brought to the Hillsborough jail on Jan. 29 in connection with the October incident. What happened there is almost beyond belief.

According to Mr. Sterner, Deputy Marshall-Jones asked that he stand to presumably be frisked. Evidently, the deputy didn’t believe that Mr. Sterner was actually a quadriplegic and the video shows her walking to the back of his wheelchair, grabbing the handles and tossing him forward until he crashes to the floor. She and another officer then pat down Mr. Sterner and throw him back into his chair.

Although he has no feeling in his chest or lower body, Mr. Sterner was concerned he had broken some ribs. Fortunately, X-rays show he had no injuries. The county sheriff, David Gee, has apologized for Mr. Sterner’s treatment; Deputy Marshall-Jones, meanwhile, has been suspended without pay and three other officers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. This reprehensible action must not be dismissed.

For tossing a quadriplegic out of his wheelchair, Charlotte Marshall-Jones is the Knave of the week.

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