Taxi driver loses teeth in late-night bashing
Canberra taxi driver Mohammad Hussain, 54, was brutally bashed in his cab after driving customers home on Saturday. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
Missing teeth, a bloodstained uniform and hospital bills in the thousands of dollars - that's what taxi driver Mohammad Hussain finished up with during his shift on Saturday night.
The 54-year-old spent the night in Calvary Hospital after being punched repeatedly in the face and neck as he dropped off passengers in Forde about 11.30pm.
He said the fare had reached about $60 when he arrived at his passengers' destination, at which point a man came out of a nearby house and approached his taxi.
"One guy - heavy, big, tall - he said 'take this $30 and piss off'," he said. Mr Hussain said he accepted the cash, while another man paid the remainder on his credit card.
He was about to leave when the first man returned and began punching him, landing four or five blows.
"I lost my teeth," he said. "I was bleeding, I couldn't see anything. My whole uniform was covered in blood."
Mr Hussain fled the scene and called emergency services who took him to Calvary Hospital.
After being discharged on Sunday morning, he went to The Canberra Hospital for treatment from the emergency dentist.
The bills for his future dental work could cost up to $26,000.
Mr Hussain said the incident highlighted the potential dangers he and his fellow the taxi drivers faced while providing what he described as a public service.
"We help, but when the driver is assaulted, there is no help," he said.
"One day, a driver will die."
His son, who asked not to be named, said the inside of his father's taxi "looked like a murder scene" after the assault.
"There was blood splattered all over the steering wheel," he said. "He got off quite lucky. If they punched him in the chest, he could have died."
An ACT Policing spokesman said police had a report of an assault and were investigating.