A cab driver in St. John's is recovering after he was badly beaten by a passenger he picked up two weekends ago in the downtown area.

Fahad Bakhtyar, an international student from Pakistan studying at Memorial University, works as a part-time driver with Co-op Taxi.

Bakhtyar said he ran into some trouble when he picked up an intoxicated passenger around 2 a.m. on April 13.

According to Bakhtyar, the passenger, 33-year-old Lucas O'Keefe, asked to stop at his girlfriend's home on Heatherton Place while en route to Mount Pearl.

Bakhtyar said things took a sudden violent turn when he tried to collect his fare from O'Keefe, who had started banging on the door of the home once they arrived.

Co-op taxi, side door

Fahad Bakhtyar works a couple of shifts a week as a taxi driver with Co-op Taxi in St. John's. He says since being assaulted by a passenger, he thinks there should be some stricter protections in place for cab drivers. (CBC)

"As soon as he heard that, he just rushed on to me and started hitting me," said Bakhtyar.

"I tried to to stop him by moving his face out, but in the meanwhile what he did was he put my finger in his mouth and started biting on it, and then he tried to do it on the second finger. Then he threw me on the ground and started hitting me on the head, and then I blacked out."

Can't work for 2 months

Bakhtyar said he believes the beating lasted for five to 10 minutes, but doesn't know for sure.

He suffered a broken collarbone, multiple bruises to his face and head, and injuries to two of his fingers. Bakhtyar said his fingers were not severed, as reported at the time of the incident.

Bakhtyar said he'll have to wear a sling for the next two months while his collarbone recovers, meaning he won't be able to work.

Sources said it took five Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers to get O'Keefe into a squad car.

O'Keefe was charged with assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats.