SINGAPORE - Drive before I kill you, the passenger yelled at the cabby when he thought the taxi was taking too long to move off.
The driver, who wanted to be known only as Mr Yang, said that he was waiting for oncoming vehicles to pass before he could filter out but the man, a Caucasian, became impatient.
The well-built man then grabbed the cabby's neck in a stranglehold, reported Lianhe Wanbao yesterday.
The man had boarded the ComfortDelGro taxi on Saturday at around 2.30am near the Clarke Quay taxi stand and was heading for Sengkang.
Mr Yang, 54, sounded his horn when he was attacked, hoping someone would come to his aid.
He also managed to lower the window and wave for help, he said.
But no one came, he claimed. Mr Yang managed to free himself from the man's grasp and ran from his taxi.
He got a passer-by to call the police while he tried to catch his breath by the roadside, reported the paper.
The man got out of Mr Yang's taxi and made his way to another cab. But he suddenly turned around, walked towards Mr Yang and punched him in his right eye.
Both men started fighting and Mr Yang was left with a bloodied face.
Two policemen soon arrived. One of them began to question the Caucasian.
"The policeman started questioning him when he (the Caucasian) gave him a punch,"Mr Yang told Lianhe Wanbao.
The other policeman rushed over to help apprehend the attacker. The two policemen finally overpowered the man.
He was then handcuffed and led away. The Caucasian is believed to be in his 20s, reported Lianhe Wanbao.
In response to the assault on their taxi driver, a ComfortDelGro spokesman told The New Paper:"We are shocked to learn about this incident and certainly do not condone such aggression against our cabbies.
"We thank the passer-by for calling the police.
"We will render our assistance to our cabby the best we can and will also assist the police in their investigations."
Mr Yang was sent to the Singapore General Hospital where he received 16 stitches to his injured right eye.
Police investigations are ongoing, reported the Chinese language paper.
- The New Paper 06 December 2012