A taxi driver on Vancouver Island is recovering after a passenger bit off the top portion of his middle finger last month.
According to Comox Taxi, the male driver was taken to hospital following an altercation with a passenger behind a 7-11 in Courtenay on the evening of Saturday, April 28.
“He was dispatched to pick up a passenger at the gazebo at Simms Park [in Courtenay] and when he picked up the passenger, the passenger almost immediately became aggressive,” said a manager with Comox Taxi. “They pulled over not even two minutes into the drive, behind 7-11 on Ryan Road.”
According to the manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the alleged suspect began attacking the driver, who managed to exit the vehicle.
“The passenger got out and began to attack him outside the vehicle,” said the manager. “In the struggle, the driver’s finger was in the alleged suspect’s mouth and he ended up biting the entire tip of his finger off.”
Coincidentally, it was an off-duty Comox Taxi driver who discovered the incident and came to the driver’s aid.
“At some point during the struggle, a fellow cab driver was driving by and saw his co-worker in distress,” said the company’s manager. “He pulled over and held down the alleged suspect until RCMP could arrive.”
The off-duty cab driver also spoke to Black Press on the condition of anonymity. He said he was not sure if the passenger was drunk, but that he appeared “irate.”
He showed Black Press a photo of the driver’s bloodied finger, which appeared to have been bitten off just below the nail.
On May 9, the Comox Valley RCMP detachment confirmed in a statement that an assault on a taxi driver occurred and that the passenger was arrested at the scene.
“On April 28, 2018, at approximately 7:30 p.m., the Comox Valley RCMP were called to a report of a taxi driver being assaulted,” wrote RCMP media relations officer Monika Terragni.
“A man was arrested at the scene and has since been released with an upcoming court date.”
According to Terragni, the taxi driver suffered non-life threatening injuries and received medical attention at a local hospital.
He later filed a Workers Compensation Board claim and has already returned to work, according to Comox Taxi.