Taxi driver says ‘too late’ for apologies after alleged attack

Driver says he remained calm during alleged harassment by ‘following teachings of Christ’

The alleged incident took place on East Sunday in north Dublin.  File  photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

The alleged incident took place on East Sunday in north Dublin. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

 

The taxi driver who was allegedly assaulted by a passenger earlier this month has said it is too late for apologies and that he is “prepared to go to court” so that “justice will take its course”.

Sam, who prefers not to give his surname, has described how he tried to remain calm and “follow the teachings of Christ” after the male passenger he picked up allegedly racially abused and attacked him while he drove his vehicle.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Liveline, Sam said he had experienced “abusive people” as a taxi driver but had never experienced violence.

“They only talk and I just think of it as expression of opinion. I don’t take really serious. But this guy was talking, calling me names, asking some questions that I don’t really understand and he started hitting me and I could not do anything. I was just trying to control the whole situation because two wrongs cannot make a right.”

Dashcam footage of the alleged attack was posted on Twitter over the weekend showing an allegedly inebriated man calling Sam a “n*****” on several occasions.

The alleged incident happened at 10pm on Easter Sunday night on the Malahide Road in Donnycarney, north Dublin.

The footage shows the man asking Sam: “What’s your favourite position?” Sam responds that he does not understand what he means.

The passenger then uses a racial slur, says he is a police officer and tries to hit the driver.

Sam tries to restrain the passenger and the man racially abuses him again before exiting the car.

The passenger later presented himself at a Garda station where he gave a statement. He was not arrested, according to gardaí.

Sam, who is originally from Nigeria, said the man began “giving out to me unnecessarily” two minutes after stepping into the car.

He asked him to exit the vehicle “three or four times” but the passenger refused.

The man then started “grabbing the wheel” while Sam tried “to take control of the car so I wouldn’t have an accident”.

Sam said he remembered trying to remain calm throughout the ordeal.

“I think I just followed the example of Jesus Christ, that is exactly what comes to my mind, I tried to be calm.

“All along I was ignoring whatever he says but when he held the steering wheel I cannot allow him to take control... that would be a serious accident.”

He said he scanned the streets for a garda but couldn’t spot anyone.

“When I stopped the car he was just hitting me. I was trying to defend myself, making sure I didn’t get hurt badly.”

After the man finally stepped out of the car Sam drove home in shock.

He reported the incident to gardaí the following day.

Sam did not comment on whether the attack was racially motivated but said he had experienced verbal abuse on several occasions.

He said he hoped to see justice prevail and believes that “irrespective of the colour” of the taxi driver “justice will take its course”.

He underlined that it was too late for apologies and that he was prepared to testify in court if necessary.

“I could be dead. Something terrible could have happened on that night. I have children, I have a wife. What would be there fate?”