Revealed: the other side to St Albans taxi attack
Two teenagers were left bleeding and bruised in the back of a taxi after the driver locked them in the car to be witnesses to criminal damage, it has been claimed.
A 17-year-old boy was severely beaten by a group of young men and women following a night out at St Albans club in the early hours of Saturday, February 28.
A friend of the family told The Herts Advertiser that the young man and his friends were on the night bus back from Club Batchwood s when he was shouted at by a group at the back.
When they got off the bus in St Peter’s Street the victim was “punched to the floor”, said the family friend who uses the pseudonym Chris Jones.
The teenager was aggressively beaten by the group, including two girls, who allegedly repeatedly kicked him in the face, knocking him near unconscious and leaving shoe marks on his face.
Chris Jones said: “The CCTV which captured the incident I’m told is ‘clear as day’.
“The police officer looking after the case told me she had never seen a beating like it in all her time as a police officer. The injuries he received could have killed him.”
The victim’s friends were waiting in a taxi when they realised he was not with them. When he managed to crawl away from his attackers, he stumbled into the taxi before a young man allegedly headbutted the car window, smashing the glass and injuring a female passenger.
Chris believes that the driver called the police about his smashed taxi and not an ambulance to assist the boy and girl with their injuries.
He said that all the teenagers were told they couldn’t leave the taxi as they were witnesses to criminal damage to the vehicle.
Chris added: “There’s a boy beaten and a girl bleeding, you should show compassion. You can’t tell bleeding people that you can’t leave for half an hour; what if he had died?
“I understand that their safety is important too, but if you want our sympathy about that then you should have some sort of human compassion.”
Denying the allegation, the taxi driver insisted that he called both the ambulance and police to the scene, and kept the group of teens in the car for their own safety.
Mudassar Yasin, general secretary of St Albans & Harpenden Taxi Association (SAHTA) said: “When the guy first got into the vehicle the driver was unaware he had been beaten up.
“He only realised when he went to check the back of the taxi after the window smashed. He then rang the emergency services twice, and both times he asked for an ambulance.
“One of the girls rang their parents to come and pick them up, and when they arrived they told the driver they would take the girls home and leave the boy there [to wait for an ambulance].
“When he told them to stay in the car, it was for their own safety, and when the parent turned up he asked them to stay to help him. “He’s not going to leave somebody on the road, everyone has some humanity. If we’re doing a job dealing with drunk people all the time, taking them to their door, we’re not going to leave someone who has been badly beaten up. I think he’s done his job perfectly.”
Club Batchwood runs the night bus where the feud between the two groups began, and has said it is committed to the safety of the passengers.
The club said it was working closely with the police and looking into extra security on the bus as a result of the incident.