Cabby 'punched by passenger who refused to pay fare'

Taxi driver Raymond Lee, 46, had more than 10 stitches for the injury to his head.
Taxi driver Raymond Lee, 46, had more than 10 stitches for the injury to his head.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

NOT only did a passenger allegedly not pay the fare, but he also punched the taxi driver repeatedly and pushed his head against a wall.

The incident took place at around 5am on Sunday in the void deck of Block 658B, Jurong West Street 65, Chinese evening daily Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday.

Mr Raymond Lee, 46, had picked up two passengers, both men in their 30s, at about 4.30am and was asked to drive to Jurong West Street 65.

One of them appeared drunk while the other was sober.

When they reached Block 658B about half an hour later, both men alighted, ignoring Mr Lee's request for payment of the $41 fare. Instead, they went to sit at the void deck.

Mr Lee followed them to ask that they pay, which prompted the men to head for the lift.

When he blocked them from going into the lift, they made for the stairs. The man who was drunk then took out his wallet, looking like he was about to pay, but was stopped by his companion.

The duo then tried to enter the lift, and again Mr Lee blocked their way.

The man who was sober then reportedly said: "If you want to play, let's play."

Mr Lee said he was punched seven times by the man and had his head slammed against a wall.

"I stretched out my hand to block but... someone grabbed my right hand. My body was thrown against the wall causing my head to hit the corner, which gave me a 10cm wound," Mr Lee was quoted as saying. "Blood kept flowing and my right eye started to swell."

Mr Lee was later taken to hospital, where he had more than 10 stitches for his head injury.

The police have arrested a 30-year-old in connection with the incident and are investigating.

samboh@sph.com.sg