Taxi Driver Considers Quitting After Savage Attack

A Dudley taxi boss has revealed a driver is considering giving up his job after being brutally attacked by two thugs.

Shaz Saleem, the chairman of the Dudley Private Hire and Taxi Association, said Sheike Abas thought he was going to be killed when he was being repeatedly punched by the two men in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The Stourbridge taxi driver had picked the men up from the ABM Taxis base in Vauxhall Road, and was taking them to the Village Hotel, Dudley. Mr Saleem said the pair had told the driver they needed cash, so he had stopped off at the BP petrol station in Lye. He continued:

"This isn't unusual and he said they seemed genuine. When they got back into the taxi, they decided they wanted to go to Hallchurch Road in Dudley. Again, this wasn't unusual, people tend to change their minds.

"But when he got to Hallchurch Road and asked them for the fare, he noticed they were trying to light up his back seats. He asked them what they were doing and one of them got out the car and took his keys out of the ignition."

Mr Saleem said the men demanded cash in exchange for the keys before they attacked 43-year-old Mr Abas. He was repeatedly punched before neighbours heard the commotion and disturbed the pair, who ran off with Mr Abas' keys, cash, mobile phone and PDA system.

Paramedics were called at 5.05am and took Mr Abas to Russells Hall Hospital, where the father-of-four required stitches for a facial injury.

Mr Saleem said: "He thought he was going to be killed. He doesn't believe they would have stopped if it wasn't for the neighbours, he's so grateful to them.

"When he got home from hospital, his three-year-old daughter asked him what had happened to his face, it's heartbreaking for her to see that. He was only trying to earn a living for his family.

"He's still in shock and doesn't know if he's going to come back to work. He's been verbally abused before but nothing like this."

Police are now investigating the assault and will be examining CCTV footage in the area.


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