THE BRONX - The State Federation of Taxi Drivers spoke out Sunday against the stabbing of taxi driver Fernando Mateo, which nearly claimed his life last week.

Drivers are working with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to find ways to protect themselves from robberies and other senseless violent acts. Mateo, 39, picked up a passenger on 163rd Street close to midnight last week and was stabbed repeatedly and beaten after a botched robbery attempt.

Police say they are looking for a man between the ages of 30 and 40, who was wearing a Yankee skull cap, a tan overcoat, and sported tattoos on his right hand and across his right knuckles. They urge anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.