WARNING: This story contains graphic content. Discretion is advised. Global’s Nancy Hixt reports.
CALGARY – Global News has obtained disturbing and graphic video of a passenger launching a vicious verbal and racist attack on a Calgary cab driver.
Almost two years later, the attack has left cabbie Sardar Qayyum, a 35-year-old father of four, permanently scarred.
It began in the early morning of November 17, 2013, when Qayyum picked up three people from a party in downtown Calgary. After dropping off two of the customers, the remaining passenger wanted to stop at a McDonald’s restaurant on the way to his home in Airdrie.
However his taxi chit was going to expire in 13 minutes and even though Qayyum had agreed to stop, the man became enraged and the verbal assault began.
On video from a CCTV mounted on the cab’s dashboard, the passenger says “You tried to f—k me, you tried to f—me.”
“You son-of-a-bitch, you f—ing c—sucker, go back to where are from; take your wife and four kids. I feel sorry for your kids, You’re going to train them not to live in Canada, how we live in Canada.”
The passenger goes on to yell “what are you f—ing going to, strap a bomb to your body, huh?”
Qayyum endured the attack silently, only speaking to ask the passenger for directions.
“I was totally helpless,” he told Global News. “I was thinking if I couldn’t say anything to him, he might stop, but that unfortunately didn’t happen. He kept yelling at me using those f-words: ‘explode,’ ‘terrorist,’ he was using all those racist words.”
The words would cut deep for anyone and for Qayyum, a proud Canadian citizen, they were devastating.
“This is basically the country of immigrants; we all came from somewhere and we are Canadian now.This nation we built as immigrants and how people can use those racist words, how is it possible?”
As the barrage continued, the passenger is seen yelling: “How do you sleep at night? Just think about bombs and s—t, blowing s—t up, you f—king asshole, I could punch your head off.”
The passenger then rips the surveillance camera out of the cab.
The man paid to fix the damage to the cab but he was never charged.
“It really was disturbing,” said Qayyum. “I couldn’t eat for seven days.”
“Daytime is OK, but nighttime? People really don’t care about the cab drivers; they think we are the worst people of society.”
This isn’t the only incidence of abuse seen in Calgary cabs. In part two of this series tomorrow, Global News will tell you how human rights advocates and the RCMP are reacting.