The Winnipeg Taxi Association is sounding the alarm over what it says is an increase in assaults and robberies against taxi drivers.
It comes after taxi driver Fitsen Ghevrhet was stabbed by a passenger on Christmas Eve. Police say the passenger damaged the taxi and attacked Ghevrhet when he confronted the man in the 400 block of Kennedy Street.
“He opened the door and grabbed a knife from the left side under his jacket, and he stabbed me in the leg,” Ghevrhet said Thursday.
Ghevrhet received 15 stitches in his leg and five stitches in his hand as a result of the unprovoked assault.
The assailant was arrested by the police a few streets away. He was charged with assault causing bodily harm and mischief under $5,000.
Police said he was released on a promise. The charges against him have not been proven in court.
Ghevrhet said the incident was random and something he had never experienced before.
The Winnipeg Taxi Association said that while the majority of fares it administers are uneventful, assaults on taxi drivers are becoming all too common and they fear the industry is being targeted for theft and violence by d ‘others.
The association calls on the city to offer more support.
“I have to ask the City of Winnipeg to get involved in these kinds of incidents because these events are happening more and more,” said Gurmeet Singh, owner of the taxi company involved in the incident.
In a statement, the City of Winnipeg told CTV News that discussions about further taxi safety improvements are underway and the industry is encouraged to share their ideas.
-With files from CTV’s Kayla Rosen