Cab driver's collarbone broken, fingers severed in assault

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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A foreign exchange student at Memorial University who was working part-time with Co-op Taxi was severely beaten early Sunday morning by a customer in St. John’s, according to company general manager Doug McCarthy.

McCarthy said the engineering student from Pakistan picked up a passenger in downtown St. John’s and drove him to the Heatherton Place/Hamlyn Road area, a ride that costs about $15.

The passenger allegedly got out without paying the driver and tried to kick in the door of a home on Hamlyn Road. McCarthy said the driver radioed dispatch to ask for advice and was told to call the police.

McCarthy said the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary responded, but by the time they got there, the man had pulled the driver out of the car and assaulted him by hitting him and biting his fingers.

“He has a broken collarbone and his thumb and forefinger are severed,” McCarthy said.

An ambulance took the driver to hospital and, McCarthy said, he was told it took five police officers to arrest the suspect.

He said the driver is now in Halifax getting treatment and is worried because he’s supposed to make a presentation in the United States soon to get a university scholarship.

“He doesn’t know if he will be able to. He can’t even talk,” McCarthy said.

He isn’t the first cab driver to be assaulted in St. John’s in recent months. McCarthy said another Co-op driver had a knife put to his throat and was robbed.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s something we have to deal with,” he said.

He said crimes like this deter some drivers from working night shifts. The driver who was robbed at knifepoint hasn’t returned to working nights, McCarthy said.

The RNC confirmed Tuesday that officers and police dog services responded to the Hamlyn Road area to the report of an assault Sunday around 2 a.m.

A 33-year-old man from Mount Pearl was arrested and charged with assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats. He was held in custody until a court appearance

Geographic location: Hamlyn Road, Pakistan, Heatherton Place Halifax United States Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • Jason
    April 16, 2014 - 15:57

    For the life of me, I don't understand why regulations haven't been changed regarding taxis. Every car should have manditory camera - so as to positively identify anyone who attempts any type of misconduct. Cars should also have a dividing partition (plexi-glass, or caging); and Yes, dispatch should definitely been the one to call the cops in said situation.

  • Dawn
    April 16, 2014 - 13:59

    So many things should've happened differently here! First of all dispatch should have called police knowing that the driver was possibly in danger. Also after seeing the customer kick on a house door, the cabbie should've at least rolled up his windows and locked his doors! For the sake of 15$ I would've left the scene, contacted the police. Taxis need to have plexi glass which separates the front and the back of the cab. With a little slide over window, to open when the fare needs to be paid

  • Marshall Art
    April 16, 2014 - 10:44

    The guy tried to kick in the door of a home, broke a taxi driver's collarbone, severed two of the driver's fingers with his teeth, and it took 5 police officers to arrest him. Taxi drivers need caged partitions in their taxis to protect them from the Neanderthal knuckle draggers. They should also lock their doors whenever a customer refuses to pay and gets out of the taxi.

  • Victims Rights
    April 16, 2014 - 10:14

    Name the perp and show his picture. The world needs to know about alleged scum like this.