Case study: taxi driver Peter Gunn
‘Even with witnesses coming out of houses it didn’t seem to faze them’
Taxi driver Peter Gunn was attacked by four men in his taxi while teking them to the Dublin suburb of Knocklyon in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
Taxi driver Peter Gunn was working nights in Dublin when he was flagged by four well-dressed young men on Wellington Quay.
They seemed respectable and well spoken, he says, in their 20s and middle-class. The 46-year-old had no concerns when they asked him to drive to a nice estate in Knocklyon, west Dublin.
He had only a slight concern when during the trip late last month one man asked how long he’d been working and another responded angrily when his name was used by a companion. But when they came close to the address on Beverly Avenue, Peter was suddenly attacked. Two of the men grabbed him from behind.
“With the fright I automatically hit the brakes and the car sort of swerved to the right. I nearly hit a parked car,” he says.
When the car stopped he lashed out at the man in the passenger seat and grabbed him by the arm, at the same time breaking free from the passengers behind him. The man he grabbed began to scream and the others jumped from the car and started smashing it up. Peter couldn’t get out because his driver’s door was jammed by the car he’d almost hit.
They caused €2,000 in damage
“Even with witnesses coming out of houses it didn’t seem to faze them; I think they were on cocaine,” he says. He feared that a group of young people congregated in a nearby car park might join them. He let go of the front passenger and the men ran away.
Peter says he was disappointed with the initial response of gardaí who took 40 minutes to reach him and told him to carry on and they’d file a report.
When he made a follow-up complaint to a superintendent at Pearse Street Garda Station, she assigned two detectives. He’s hopeful they’ll make an arrest.
The attack has shaken his confidence, making him wary of picking up off the street. He worries about other drivers more vulnerable than he is.
“I couldn’t sleep for days afterwards . . . I’m very jumpy still. I was waking up with nightmares and every night going to bed I could see the four faces and I’ll never forget them. It was an awful experience.”