New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg got into a verbal altercation with a leader of the city's taxi cab lobby saying that he was going to 'f***ing destroy' the group when he leaves office this fall.
Bloomberg has championed a new model of taxi cabs for the City, but that plan recently hit a legal pothole when a state judge sided with the taxi industry in going against his proposed changes.
'Come January 1st, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your f***ing industry,' Bloomberg reportedly said to Gene Freidman, the CEO of the Taxi Club Management.
War of words: New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (left) reportedly got into a verbal altercation with Gene Freidman (right), the CEO of the Taxi Club Management
Mr Freidman represents the city's taxi drivers, many of whom do not want to be forced to replace their cabs with Bloomberg's 'Taxis of Tomorrow'.
The New York Post reports that the tirade occurred on Tuesday night when Bloomberg and Freidman were watching the Knicks basketball game from the private 1879 Club inside Madison Square Garden.
Bloomberg told the paper that he didn't remember the incident, but Freidman recalled it in very specific detail.
Freidman told The Post that when he approached the mayor, he was greeted with the following: 'Come January 1st, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your f***ing industry.'
The threats did not stop there, as Freidman reportedly 'said, "Whoa, Mr. Mayor, calm down! Why can’t I sit down with you and figure out something that works?" He got back in my face and said, "After January, I am going to destroy all you f***ing guys."'
An unidentified witness told The Post: 'It was like Gene had kidnapped his child. He used the f-word twice.'
Aside from showing his aggression when it comes to taxi design, the alleged rant also gives a possible indication about what Bloomberg will dedicate his time towards when his three terms in Gracie Mansion come to an end this fall.
The taxis were designed to give more space to passengers in the back of the cab, will be outfitted with anti-bacterial vinyl, and have two USB ports available to charge cell phones during the journey.
When he previously spoke about his retirement plans, Bloomberg typically quotes the current day count of how many more days he has left in office, saying that those are his priorities.
Now it seems that he may be planning on spending some time pushing the 'Taxis of Tomorrow' onto the streets.
'This taxi was designed from the inside out and the result is the safest, most comfortable, most passenger-friendly cab to ever ride our streets,' Bloomberg said to his company's magazine when the Nissan-designed cabs were displayed in April of last year.
Before the legal roadblock, the cars were scheduled to begin appearing on the streets this fall, though that will inevitably be delayed.