Taxi driver attacked for refusing drunken gang

A Tingeys Taxi driver was punched in Hemsworth after telling a gang he was pre-booked.
A Tingeys Taxi driver was punched in Hemsworth after telling a gang he was pre-booked.

A taxi driver was attacked after a drunken gang tried to get into his cab.

Hossein Saliman was left badly shaken after the incident just after midnight on Saturday on Cross Street, Hemsworth.

Four men tried to get into his cab near to the Tesco entrance.

But when he told them he was on his way to another job, he was attacked.

Malcolm Tingey, who runs Tingeys Taxis in the town, said: “He was really shaken up and they gave him a really bad shiner.

“These four had obviously been drinking. This is not something anyone should be subjected to when doing a public service job, helping people to get home safely.”

The four men had wanted to go to Upton, but Tingeys is run on a pre-booking basis.

One of the thugs then reached in through the driver’s window tried to grab the keys from the ignition, but the driver was able to knock them out of his hand and they dropped back into the cab. He was then punched once in the eye by the man.

Mr Tingey has a fleet of more than 40 drivers, run from an office on Market Street, but says he is now considering putting CCTV cameras in his cabs and only responding to regular customers late night at weekends.

He said: “Most of the issues we get are after midnight. Our biggest issue is people jumping into taxis that are private hire.

“But in the past six months or so it’s become more prevalent with drivers being verbally abused, especially after midnight at weekends.

“At the end of the day, the safety of our drivers is paramount and they do not deserve that after working eight or nine hours.

“We’ve got a few female drivers as well, and that could have been my wife.

“Taxi drivers should not be getting assaulted.”

Anyone with information should contact police quoting reference number 13170160113.