A British tourist was physically assaulted by a group of taxi drivers in the early hours of Monday after getting caught up in a settlement dispute with an overcharging driver.
The man, who was in the company of her American girlfriend, was attacked around 03:30 a.m. in Budapest’s District XIV, according to a witness. Speaking to the news website Origo.hu, the man said that he saw three or four taxi drivers hitting a man, who was by then lying on the ground, as around 20 other taxi drivers looked on. “In the meanwhile, the victim’s girlfriend was shouting to them in English and tried to drag the attackers off her partner”, the witness said.
The taxi drivers fled the scene after the witness contacted police, whom the attacked couple told that they were sprayed with Mace and threatened with a knife by the attackers, who also took the young man’s money.
The incident was apparently sparked by the man noticing that the car carrying him was fitted with a manipulated taximeter which jumped HUF 1000 at a time.
Local police have launched an investigation upon suspicion of private justice and a man has been questioned over the incident, the website reports.
In mid-August, a taxi driver assaulted his Irish passenger and later dumped him in a derelict spot after he refused to pay the HUF 25 000 fare he deemed excessively high, and later that month, there were action movie-like scenes in central Budapest as police caught a taxi driver suspected of carrying drugs after a car pursuit.
In the meanwhile, the stonian ride-hail app Taxify has launched its service in Hungary to provide an alternative to regular taxis and Uber, which was forced to exit the Hungarian market after being hit by a government ban.
photo: Attila Polyák/origo.hu