A Devon taxi driver, who was hailed a hero after rescuing a customer from a burning building, has reported being assaulted by a passenger. According to DevonLive, Cristian Dumitrescu, who works for Frankies Taxis in Tiverton, picked up a man in the town on 29 July but says he then had to stop in Sycamore Road when the passenger began being sick in the taxi. When Mr Dumitrescu refused to continue their journey to Exeter due to his poorly state and believing he was intoxicated, he claims he was punched in the back of the head while in the driver’s seat, and was then subjected to racial abuse. He also alleges the passenger threat- ened to steal his taxi, but he activated

an emergency button in the cab, which alerts the taxi company of a problem, and was able to call the police. The next day Mr Dumitrescu was back at work and says it is the first time he has been assaulted.

He said: “Sometimes it’s a dreadful job.” Mr Dumitrescu was praised for his heroic efforts in 2018 after spotting smoke coming from the home of one of his regular customers in New North Road. He ran into the building to rescue him.

The fire service said that the men escaped the building ‘just in time’. He has also previously come to the rescue of a man who fell off his mobility scooter in Stoke Canon.” Police have confirmed an investigation has been launched regarding the assault. A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police were called at 6pm on Thursday, July 29, to Tiverton, following reports of an assault within a taxi. “It was reported that the victim, a man in his 40s, had been assaulted to the head and subject to verbal abuse. “A man in his 40s from Tiverton was arrested in connection with the incident and remains in police custody.”


A cabbie who fled war-torn Iraq to settle in Norwich has spoken of his horror after being seriously hurt in a brutal suspected racial attack. The Norwich Evening News reports that father-of-two Sahd Suliman was between jobs at around 8.30pm on Saturday evening, 17 July, when he was approached by a stranger in Magdalen Street in the city. The 37-year-old said he had spotted a blond man being abusive to staff in the shop and had advised the shopkeeper to call the police before the situation escalated. But when the man spotted him give the shopkeeper a friendly wave, he turned his attention to Sahd. He said: “He came straight up to me and I asked him to leave me alone, told him I had to get to my next job and couldn’t be late. I turned and put my hand on my door handle and the next thing I remember I was on the floor.” Emergency services attended including


now worried to return to work. The attack left him bloodied and bruised and with deep scars on his head.

paramedics and the police, while he was also helped by passers-by. Sahd believes the assault was racially motivated. He said: “I think he saw me wave at the shopkeepers and thought ‘they’re foreign, he must be foreign too’. And he then said to me: ‘You’re foreign, I’m English, there’s nothing you can do’. I just can’t stop thinking ‘why me?’ ‘What have I done?’” Mr Suliman said since moving to Norwich his experiences were positive and this was the first time he had been physically attacked, but that he was

He added: “All I said to him was that I had to go and to leave me alone, I said nothing else and he tried to kill me.” It is not the first time ABC taxis, the company Sahd drives for, has seen its drivers targeted and has safeguarding training in place for its drivers. Chris Harvey, spokesman for ABC, said: “We do not condone any abuse towards our drivers, racially of other- wise. When something like this happens we will always try to help support our drivers in any way we can and assist the authorities in bringing the people responsible to justice.” A man in his 20s was arrested on suspicion of assault and public order offences, following the attack and remains under investigation - but no charges have been made so far.


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