A TAXI cab driver has endured the ride from hell today, after being bashed, held at knife-point, then held hostage in his own vehicle by a drunk driver who was eventually stopped by road spikes near Johns River.
Inspector Neil Stephens from the Manning Great Lakes Local Area Command, said the chaos started at 6am on Saturday when the cab driver picked up the 28-year-old male offender from Lake Macquarie in the Hunter region.
After driving the offender from Kurri Kurri to a residential premises in Maitland, the cab driver and offender went into the house to get money for the fare.
At this point, it is alleged the man, a 41-year-old from Abermain, began to attack the taxi driver.
The cab driver was kicked to the head a number of times and then threatened with a knife.
Inspector Stephens said the cab driver was then forced into the taxi’s passenger seat, when the offender took control of the wheel and drove north towards Taree.
“Taree police received reports from a number of members of the public of the cab driving north on the Pacific Highway at excessive speeds,” Inspector Stephens said. “Taree Highway Patrol clocked the vehicle at 185 km/h just north of Taree and thereafter engaged in a police pursuit.”
Another Highway Patrol car deployed road spikes near Johns River, and they were successful in stopping the high-speed taxi and its unauthorised driver.
“The offender was arrested at the scene and failed a roadside breath test,” Inspector Stephens said.
He was taken to Taree Police Station and charged with the following and refused bail:
► Aggravated kidnapping
► Assault occasioning actual bodily harm
► Car jacking
► Armed robbery
► Predatory driving
► Driving speed dangerous
► Skye’s Law (for those who deliberately try to avoid arrest by starting high-speed police chases)
► Mid-Range PCA
The man was also refused bail in Port Macquarie Local Court on Sunday morning and will reappear in court on May 21.
Inspector Stephens said the original taxi cab driver was shocked by the ordeal and attended Manning Base Hospital in Taree where he was treated for facial injuries.