Dashcam footage shows the moments leading up to a high heel attack that left a taxi driver blind on one eye. Afaq Iftikhar, 34, said his passengers turned violent when he told them to leave after one ‘vomited in his car’ near Birmingham’s Arcadian Centre on 15 December. A woman can be seen in the video sending his glasses flying as she scratches him in the face, before another rushes towards him with her heel in hand.
Afaq, from Northfield, said the woman, 18, stabbed him in the eye with the shoe as their male friend, 19, punched him, while others shouted racist slurs and attempted to steal from his cab.
He said: ‘I thought I was going to die, I was thinking about my family – my entire life flashed in front of my eyes. ‘I kept asking them to let me go free and take what they wanted, but they just kept attacking me, so I had to defend myself. ‘Now my life has been turned upside down, I can’t see a future for myself anymore. I feel alone, there’s nothing in front of me. I don’t know why this has happened.’
Afaq, who can be seen in the clip punching back, added: ‘I had to fight back, because at first I tried to call the police, but then the woman started trying to rob me and I knew I was outnumbered by them.’ Afaq was left with blood pouring from his right eye and three gashes to his skull after the attack. The taxi drivers punctured eyeball was so badly damaged doctors were unable to save it despite a four-hour operation and he has since been declared legally blind. He added: ‘I was just doing my job.’
Afaq said he released the clip after police allegedly told him they couldn’t find the footage. He found the SD card in his car after officers had his vehicle for two weeks.
Afaq continued: ‘I’m releasing the video now because throughout this ordeal, the police told me they couldn’t find the footage. ‘But I found it in the camera which was inside my car for the entire two weeks they had it in their care. I feel like they didn’t even look for it. ‘I also want to show people the kind of abuse that we, as drivers, are having to put up with while working – bus drivers get secure panels, so why don’t we.’
West Midlands Police said there have been no charges brought since three teenagers were arrested and released under investigation last month. A spokesman said: ‘Police are investigating an assault on a taxi driver after a dispute with three passengers over fares. ‘The driver was kicked and punched by two of the passengers in Birmingham city centre, sometime between 3.50am and 4.25am. ‘He suffered serious facial injuries.
‘Three people were arrested: a 19-year-old man on suspicion of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, an 18-year-old woman on suspicion of assault and an 18-year a woman on suspicion of theft.
‘All three have been released under investigation.’ In response to Afaq’s accusations about the footage, Detective Sergeant Ashley Hooton from Birmingham CID, said: ‘The taxi was recovered from the scene of the incident. ‘Enquiries are ongoing in order to locate the SD card from the dashcam.’