Taxi drivers should buy dashcams, says uploader of alleged assault video
Footage posted on Twitter shows apparently inebriated passenger using racial slur
It’s worth investing in a good (dashcam). It’s your livelihood, it’s your life.” File photograph: Cyril Byrne
The man who uploaded dashcam footage showing a taxi driver allegedly being assaulted by a passenger has said all taxi drivers should invest in dashcams to protect themselves.
Derek Devoy of Taxi Watch, an organisation which trains taxi drivers to assist passengers who appear suicidal or depressed, was sent the video or the alleged assault which he then uploaded to social media with the aim of identifying the alleged perpetrator.
The footage, which was posted on Twitter, shows an apparently inebriated man call the taxi driver a “n*****” on several occasions.
The incident happened at 10pm on Easter Sunday night on the Malahide Road in Donnycarney, north Dublin.
The man asks the taxi driver: “What’s your favourite position?” The taxi driver responds: “I don’t understand what you mean by my ‘favourite position’.” The passenger then uses a racial slur, says he is a police officer and tries to hit him.
The taxi driver tries to restrain him and the man racially abuses the driver again before he exits the car.
Mr Devoy told RTÉ’s Today with Miriam O’Callaghan programme on Monday he was contacted by a member of the family of the alleged perpetrator offering his telephone number and asked him to call him.
Mr Devoy contacted the man and offered to drive him to his nearest Garda station which he did. “I just wanted to make sure he got to the Garda station,” said Mr Devoy.
“He was a different person from the footage. He wasn’t aggressive.”
Mr Devoy said was not shocked by the alleged incident and said taxi drivers faced abuse and assault every day. He said he was shocked by the level of aggression.
“Every day taxi drivers are robbed, windows broken and phones taken. It’s not an easy business. This incident was not a once off.”
He has not spoken directly to the taxi driver, but hopes to do so later on Monday. “I’ve been told that he’s in a bad way, that he’s broken up,” said Mr Devoy.
“I had a guy who kicked my car a few years ago causing €3,000 worth of damage. It affected me. I did not feel I could work for a few days.”
Mr Devoy pointed out that all of the comments on social media following the uploading of the video footage had been supportive of the driver with no racist comments.
He urged all taxi drivers to invest in good quality dashcams. “It’s worth investing in a good one. It’s your livelihood, it’s your life,” he said.
“Look after yourself, report any incidents. Have faith in the police. Don’t let it go, if you don’t report something, it could happen to someone else.”
In a statement, gardaí said the man who handed himself into a north Dublin Garda station was not a member of the force.
Gardaí said they are aware of the video of the incident and have asked people not to share it further on social media.
The statement said: “A suspect in the case has presented themselves at a north Dublin Garda station and gardaí are following a definite line of enquiry.
“Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact Clontarf Garda station 01 6664800 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.”