A Cork taxi driver has recalled the terrifying moment he was attacked while bringing a group of six men home in the early hours of Sunday morning.
John Constant, 57, said that the group turned on him after he had pointed out that one of the men had been sick in the back of his minivan.
He had picked the group up from Grand Parade and had brought them to Glounthaune, where he was to drop four of the men off at the entrance to the Highlands estate.
The four had paid the two remaining passengers, who were going on further, their share of the fare but when Mr Constant got out of the minivan to let the four men out, he noticed that one of the men in the back was asleep.
“I always bring a torch with me when I go out so I shined [sic] it in at him and told him to wake up. I could see that he had been a bit sick near where the seatbelt buckles into the clasp on the seat,” he said.
Mr Constant asked the group to clean the mess, but they said that they were not responsible.
He then warned them that he would call the gardaí when the man who had been asleep came around and punched him in the face.
“My nose was bleeding so I reached in to get my phone when one of the lads grabbed me by the arm and said that the best thing I could do is get into the van and drive off or it would get a lot worse,” Mr Constant said.
At this point the man who had punched Mr Constant had fled the scene.
Mr Constant left the scene and pulled over to call the gardaí, who came and took details of the assault.
Mr Constant then went to the Mercy Hospital for an X-ray which revealed that no bones were broken as a result of the punch. He attended the South Infirmary yesterday, where he will go again for a check-up when the swelling on his face has gone down.
Mr Constant had discussed with his wife whether or not he should work nights in the aftermath of the incident, but he said “there’s no money to be made during the day”.
It is the third time he has been attacked in over 25 years as a taxi driver, after separate incidents at Sunday’s Well, where he was attacked with a broken bottle, and the Model Farm Road.
Mr Constant’s story first came to light on the Neil Prendeville Show on Red FM, which has arranged for the installation of a security camera in his vehicle for future safety.
“I want to thank Red FM because it is a great reassurance and every taxi should have one.
“There’s €43m in the taxi regulator’s kitty and that money needs to be put back into the cars for drivers’ safety,” he said.
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