Taxi driver loses tooth during attack in Co Louth

‘Drunk and abusive’ man refused to pay €15 fare

Taxi driver Halil  Kayisoglu has reported the incident to gardaí. Photograph: Frank Miller

Taxi driver Halil Kayisoglu has reported the incident to gardaí. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

A taxi driver has said he lost a tooth after he was attacked by a customer who refused to pay a €15 fare in Co Louth.

Halil Kayisoglu (49) collected a male customer at a taxi rank in Drogheda on Wednesday afternoon, who wanted to go to Duleek.

Mr Kayisoglu, originally from Turkey and has been living in Ireland for the last 20 years, said the man was drunk and used abusive language during the journey.

“When we arrived he said how much is it and I said €15. He said I’m not paying you and began swearing at me. I said okay and I tried to take his picture inside the car to show the guards but he hid his face,” Mr Kayisoglu said.

“I tried to get his picture again when he got out of the car but he hid his face again.”

Mr Kayisoglu said he told the man he was going to call the gardaí.

“When I was going to ring, the man attacked me. I held his hands and said: ‘Look you will be in big trouble if you hit me.’ Then I let him go. He starting punching me, he punched me at least 20 times.

“I was in the army in Turkey and can defend myself. I couldn’t touch him though because if I touch him I lose my licence. He kept hitting and punching me.”

Mr Kayisoglu said the man hit him in the face and his tooth fell out.

“He kept punching me but couldn’t knock me down and eventually got tired,” he added.

Mr Kayisoglu has reported the incident to gardaí.

“Taxi drivers are not safe in their cars. If I didn’t know how to defend myself I might have a broken nose or brain damage.

“We are not protected, we are alone in the car. You can’t touch the customer even if they’re attacking you. I like my job but my kids said to me: ‘Dad, don’t go to work, what’s going to happen if this man comes up to you again?’ The kids are worried, my wife is worried.”