Taxi driver taunted over coronavirus and headbutted in ‘racially-aggravated’ attack in Exeter

A taxi driver of Asian descent was taunted with coronavirus jibes, kicked and headbutted in a ‘racially-aggravated’ late-night attack in Exeter, say police.

The 35-year-old victim also had cash stolen from him after throwing a quartet of passengers out of his vehicle in New North Road at around 12.30am on Sunday (February 16).

He had picked up a group of two men and two women from outside John Lewis.

“Once in the taxi, one of the men proceeded to question the driver about where he was from and whether he had coronavirus,” said a Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson.

“The male started to repeatedly slap the driver on the back of the head while he was driving and, when he stopped the car to let the passengers out on New North Road, near the prison, the male started kicking him.

“The second male then headbutted the driver, causing a gash to his eyebrow which required stitches.

“The driver also had his car key and £120 in cash stolen from his vehicle during the ordeal.”

Police say they are investigating a racially-aggravated assault and have appealed for information.

Officers sayone of the passengers is described as a white male, aged in his 20s, with a South African accent. He had short hair, was around 6ft tall and of medium build. He was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and trainers.

The other offender is described as being a white male, aged between 35 and 40, approximately 5ft 8ins tall and of stocky build, with short hair. He was wearing a black coat.

The group had said they wanted to be taken to Crediton.

Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has any information which could assist with police enquiries, is urged to call 101, or email 101@dc.police.uk, quoting crime reference number CR/013859/20.

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