Boston Cab Driver Who Unknowingly Drove Away With Sleeping Girl Will Keep His Job

Boston police have dropped plans to suspend a cab driver who unwittingly drove off with a sleeping 5-year-old girl after her family apparently left her in a taxi.

Joseph Cohen picked up the family of six at Logan International Airport Sunday and gave them a ride in his minivan to their home in the city's Mattapan neighborhood.

The family had just returned from a long trip to Haiti, reported.

Cohen said they paid the fare, and he left. But 15 minutes later, he got a call from another driver who had been contacted by the family.

"They called me to say 'You've got a child in the cab,'" Cohen told WHDH-TV. "And I said, 'What do you mean a child in the cab?' And I went and I look and I see the child sleeping."

She had fallen asleep in the back seat, lying down hidden from her family's sight, said.

Her parents didn't see her as they grabbed their luggage from the trunk.

Cohen said he immediately turned the car around and returned the child safely to her grateful family.

She was asleep the entire 20-minute ride home, reported.

"The people said to me, 'Our hero, you did good,' shook my hand, you know," Cohen told

They tipped him $50.

But the next day, the longtime cabbie was hit with a three-day suspension from the local taxi commission, who claimed he violated rules that require drivers to inspect their cars after dropping off a fare.

Cohen — who has driven taxis for 39 years — said police dropped the suspension after a meeting Tuesday, but told him to be more careful.

A union representing cab drivers had argued that punishment would be unfair and family members were to blame.

"This was a kind man ... someone who was caring enough to safely deliver the child back," said Donna Blythe-Shaw, a staff representative for the United Steelworkers Boston Taxi Drivers Association.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.