Police hunt for suspects in St. John's cabbie assault
Police in St. John's are looking for witnesses who may have seen a taxi driver being beaten by two would-be customers.
A cabbie was beaten around midnight Friday, after he answered a call in the Airport Heights neighbourhood of St. John's.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said it has identified two men who are believed to have beaten the 25-year-old NewFound Cabs driver.
The driver was in stable condition in hospital.
Police said one of the suspects was described as six-foot-two, and weighing more than 200 pounds. He had sideburns, and was wearing jeans and black shoes.
The second suspect, the RNC said, is about six-foot-three feet, weighs about 215 pounds, and has dark hair and is clean cut. This man also has sideburns, and was wearing black shoes, jeans and a green striped jacket.
The RNC said investigators want to speak with a woman driving a large, dark-coloured truck who may have witnessed the assault.
Derek Hayter said his heart sank when he heard a distress call early Saturday morning, and raced to the scene to find his co-worker.
"He was lying across the car in visible pain," Hayter said. There were visible physical injuries to his face. He was complaining of abdominal pain and pain in his arm."
Hayter said the driver was also robbed.
The two men allegedly involved in the assault had called for the cab.
Assaults on cab drivers called 'repugnant'
Hayter said any assault on a driver sends a chill through everyone in the taxi business, and that he would like to see stiff punishment for those responsible.
"When they're brought before the courts, it [must] be made abundantly clear to them just how repugnant their behaviour is," he said.
"Put that in the hands of the courts and hope that we, as an industry, can put enough pressure on the powers that be that this is dealt with severely."
Taxi driver Rhonda Martin said that after this weekend's assault, she has decided not to work past midnight again.
Martin, who fended off an assault a few months ago, said security measures are becoming necessary in cabs.
"Plexiglas I think is going to be the way of the future, if things start getting out of control like that," she said. "I also agree too with having cameras in the cars."