Assaulted Auckland taxi driver demands access to cab video of attack on him

Three men assaulted Vineet Mahajan just after midnight on Tuesday morning.

Three men assaulted Vineet Mahajan just after midnight on Tuesday morning.

An Auckland taxi driver who was assaulted by three men is being blocked from seeing security footage of the attack by his employer.

Vineet Mahajan was set upon by the trio on Tuesday morning, when he refused to pick them up. 

Jim McWilliams, managing director of Taxis United and Mahajan's employer, said he had "no problem" with the driver viewing the video but insisted the law was that only the police and the company were allowed access due to privacy concerns.

Mahajan's taxi was parked behind Southmall when three men who "were under some sort of drug" jumped into his vehicle.

Mahajan's taxi was parked behind Southmall when three men who "were under some sort of drug" jumped into his vehicle.

"I don't understand this. I was a victim," Mahajan said in response to his employer's stance. 

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"Why shouldn't they [taxi drivers] be able to look at what's happened?"

Mahajan, 48, parked his car behind Southmall in Manurewa, south Auckland, on Tuesday at 12.15am to wait for the next cab call-out from his office when he was approached by the three men.

He believed they always intended to attack him.

He said he usually kept his car doors locked while he was waiting, but "unluckily my car was open".

That meant the three men, aged in their 20s, were able to jump into his taxi. 

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Mahajan said he could "see from their eyes" that the three "were under some sort of drug".

He told them he could only take them to their destination if they gave him $15 in advance, and if the final fare was lower he would refund them the difference.

"Meanwhile, I just pushed the panic button because I could sense something fishy."

The punching started when Mahajan told the men he would call the police.

One of them got out of the car and opened the driver's side door to continue the attack.

"When they were hitting me they were asking for my phone and money, I just said 'ok you just take whatever you want and you just leave me' but they didn't stop, they didn't give me the chance.

"I couldn't do much because they were just hitting me from the three sides, when you are alone and three sides [of] you are getting the punches you can't do much," Mahajan said.

"I was so scared, I was literally shouting, they were hitting so hard."

He said the attackers were "concentrating" on hitting his face and Mahajan remembers thinking "thank goodness" they don't have any weapons on them. 

Mahajan saw a passing car and shouted to the passers-by to "call the cops" which, he said, scared his attackers and slowed down their assault.

That allowed him to grab the leg of the man outside his door, and start accelerating the taxi.

"It was a hybrid so they didn't even know the car had started.

"I don't know when the other two guys jumped out of my taxi."

He drove to a nearby RSA but Mahajan said he couldn't drive much further because "the blood was covering my face".

Despite being willing to hand over his belongings, his attackers still wanted to continue the assault, he said.

"They didn't give me the chance to take the money and my phone from the pocket because they were concentrating on my face," he said.

 - Stuff

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