A Canberra taxi driver who was assaulted by a passenger fears the same thing will happen again and has armed himself just in case.
Mark Humpherston now drives his cab with a mini baseball bat down the side of his driver's seat, because the offender who assaulted him in Bonner three weeks ago is still at large.
Police have a detailed statement from the victim, a complete description of the offender and some of the personal belongings left in the cab, including credit cards. They also have vision taken from the taxi's on-board camera and a second driver's description.
And Mr Humpherston says police even admitted to him they know who the offender is, though so far no arrest has been made.
Despite all this evidentiary material, when asked about the incident police produced the common response of "the investigation is ongoing". They then appealed for witnesses, despite the incident occurring weeks ago.
The incident occurred on September 13, when Mr Humpherston picked up his booked fare outside the Coles supermarket in Manuka around 5.20pm, a few hours after his shift began.
The passenger didn't speak, just showed an address on a mobile phone.
The first stop was the Woolworths at Bonner, then a coffee shop, and then a residential address. Mr Humpherston was asked to stop around the corner from the address, where he asked for payment for the $70.10 fare.
Two credit cards were handed to him, neither of which could process a payment.
The passenger then left the cab to get money from a "boyfriend".
The driver waited, but his fare didn't reappear. He went to the address given to him by the passenger to be told the passenger had left to road test a BMW car on private sale. Some 10 minutes later, the passenger returned and he was asked to drive to Red Hill.
"I knew something fishy was going on, so I asked again for the first fare to be paid," he said.
The person opened a can of energy drink in the back seat and then smacked the driver across the head with it, spilling the contents through the cab.
Mr Humpherston pressed the duress alarm on his taxi and called the police.
The passenger jumped out, as did the driver, who again asked for the fare.
"The person charged toward me, kicked me in the leg and pushed me to the ground where I fell and hit my back on the gutter," he said.
The offender ran off and police attended quickly. A verbal statement was given and the driver, bruised and battered, continued to work his shift "because I'd just lost 70 bucks and now I had cab that needed cleaning".
Curiously, soon after the incident, two separate bookings were made for fares to Red Hill while Mr Humpherston worked the Gungahlin rank. When he accepted them, they cancelled.
"I suspect the person who assaulted me was trying to get back to Red Hill, saw my cab number come up, and cancelled," he said.
He has had two weeks off work on his doctor's advice and thinks it's now getting too dangerous to drive a cab without protecting himself.
"I don't feel safe any more. I've lived in Canberra for 51 years; the city has changed in recent years, not for the better," he said.
Like police and bouncers, taxi drivers on the overnight shift see the often sad, seedy and sometimes nasty edge to Canberra that relatively few people witness.
"Driving around you see so many homeless people in the city now; Glebe Park is full of homeless [people] at night," he said.
"And there's so many weirdos and druggies around. As a cab driver, when someone sits directly behind you, you're basically defenceless."
He's now jittery, gets bad headaches and has trouble sleeping. His back is sore from the assault and he is now on the verge of leaving an industry which badly needs drivers with his home town knowledge and capability.
"I'm thinking of getting out of Canberra altogether," he said.
"I love the place but this is no longer the same pleasant city I grew up in."
But for now, all he wants is some justice.
"Cab drivers are getting assaulted, the person who assaulted me is still walking around. How can I feel safe now?" he asked.
A spokesman for the cab company said the incident was "upsetting" but physical assaults on its drivers were rare.