News article

Racially aggravated assault, Exeter


Taxi driver taunted and assaulted in city centre by passengers

Police are appealing for information about a hate crime incident which involved an Exeter taxi driver being taunted with coronavirus jibes before being headbutted by a passenger.

The incident occurred at around 12.30am on Sunday 16 February near Augustus House on New North Road, Exeter.

The 35-year-old taxi driver, who is of Asian descent, reportedly picked up two female and two male passengers fromthe taxi rank 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.

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.

One of the male passengers is described as a white male, aged in his 20s, with a South African accent. He had short hair, was six foot 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 five foot eight inches tall and of stocky build, with short hair. He was wearing a black coat.

The group said they wanted taking to Crediton.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information which could assist with police enquiries is asked to contact police on 101 quoting CR/013859/20.

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