Cab firm owner charged with having no permit


The owner of Carroll County Cab Co. was arrested by Westminster police yesterday and charged with operating without a permit.

Don Phillip Brannan, 48, of the 8000 block of Old Washington Road turned in his license last month after refusing to pick up fares in some areas of the city, police said.

Police said he was arrested after one of his cabs was dispatched to the Carroll County library on East Main Street to pick a female city police officer posing as a fare.

District Court documents said that Officer Debra A. Trapanotto, acting under orders of Police Chief Sam Leppo, called the cab company at 10:30 a.m. yesterday and asked to be picked up at the library.

After calling twice, the officer was picked up in a taxi by Margaret Ann Bell and driven from the library to the 700 block of Eagles Court, court records said.

The officer was charged $8 for the trip, according to the documents.

Margaret Ann Bell and her husband, Bob Bell, lease the cab company from Mr. Brannan.

Mr. Brannan was arrested later in the day and charged with engaging in the taxicab business without a license.

He was released by a court commissioner. If convicted, Mr. Brannan could face a maximum fine of $250.

He turned in his license to pick up passengers in Westminster the night before a Sept. 20 meeting called to discuss complaints that city officials had received about his company refusing to pick up passengers in certain areas.

A city ordinance makes it unlawful for taxicab companies to deny service to any Westminster resident.

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