Cab driver hit in face by brick thrown at his car
A CAB driver has been hit in the face by a brick thrown by a yob at his moving car.
Driver Irfan Ul Haque had to be treated in hospital for injuries to his mouth and shoulder, after being struck by the brick as he drove a passenger through Seacroft, Leeds.
Now a colleague of his has warned that with the frequency of attacks on drivers, it is only “a matter of time before there is a fatality”.
The incident happened at about 9pm on Monday, near the Asda petrol station in Killingbeck Drive, off York Road, Seacroft.
A police spokesman said the driver was taken to Leeds General Infirmary for treatment, but has now been released.
His 21-year-old female passenger had to be treated for shock.
Officers are still waiting to interview Mr Haque, who lives in Bradford.
But the police spokesman said the suspect had been described as a white boy aged about 15, of slim build and wearing a grey jacket.
He said: “He was said to be among a group of five males and a girl. Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact officers via 101 quoting crime reference 13180179934.”
Mr Haque works for Leeds private hire firm Roadrunners. His colleague, Mohammed Ilyas, said: “It's lucky he survived, because the brick came through the passenger-side window.
"If the brick had come through the driver's-side window, when he was driving, I think he would have been dead."
Mr Ilyas said it was just the latest in a series of attacks on the city’s cab drivers.
"I think there is just a matter of time before there is a fatality," he said.
He said previous attacks included one at the same spot just a few months ago. Last year, York Road was identified by cabbies as one of a series of hot-spots for trouble.
But Mr Ilyas, 36, of Bradford, said attacks could happen anywhere in Leeds and the yobs’ motivation was “mischief”.
He said the highly-visible stickers which private hire cars had to display made them easy targets in the dark.
He said the attacks saddened him, especially given the service private hire drivers gave to the community.
He said: “We have probably carried their mothers and fathers. We have 5,000 private hire drivers in Leeds and we carry almost everyone around the community. We keep the city going.”
Last December, hundreds of drivers from across the city took part in a four-hour slow-drive protest, saying missiles were being hurled at them on a daily basis.
The police spokesman said: "Incidents like this are completely unacceptable and we are working with the drivers and our partner agencies to put long-term problem-solving measures in place to tackle the issue.
"A number of key hotspot areas have been identified, primarily in east Leeds, and we are working with our neighbourhood teams to target those areas to deter any further offences. We will be working to identify those involved and will take appropriate action, including exploring the full range of control measures available through Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team.“At the same time we will be working with schools and youth organisations to educate young people around the dangers and risks of this type of behaviour which not only impacts on the drivers but also affects a service provided to the communities in which those young people live.”