DARIEN - A Darien banker has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly attacking a Middle Eastern cab driver.

Police say William Jennings, 47, was being driven home from New York City in December when he got into a dispute with the driver over the $204 fare. Jennings is accused of stabbing the man in the hand and using racial slurs.

A lawyer for Jennings says the driver demanded cash and kidnapped him by starting to drive back to New York. He denies that Jennings used derogatory language and says his client is the real victim.

Authorities say the cab driver is the one who reported the incident and add that they didn't hear from Jennings until two weeks afterward.

The Morgan Stanley banker has reportedly been placed on leave in response to the charges. He has been released on bail and is due back in court at the end of the month.