Halifax taxi driver helps woman being assaulted

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A Halifax taxi driver is being called a good Samaritan after helping a woman he saw being assaulted. Global's Natasha Pace reports.

Halifax Regional Police are commending a taxi driver for attempting to stop a man from allegedly attacking a woman in the city’s south end Friday.

Shortly after 4 p.m. AT, police say a taxi driver noticed a woman being assaulted by a 40-year-old man near the intersection of Inglis and Brussels Streets.

“The female was a university student at one of the local universities and she was walking, texting and almost bumped into the man. The man became enraged and immediately assaulted the female for almost bumping into him,” said Staff Sgt. Richard Lane with the Halifax Regional Police.

“The male ended up striking the female in the head and knocking her to the ground.”

Amer Abdo, a Halifax cab driver, witnessed the assault as he was driving along Inglis Street with two passengers in the car when he saw what he thought was a couple fighting.

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“While I was driving by this big guy slammed a student girl to the ground,” said Abdo. “Without thinking I stopped my car, I got out and I just felt like I had to do something right away.”

Abdo says he immediately got out and confronted the man. The suspect started to walk away so Abdo took the woman into his cab. They called 911 and followed the man to a nearby gas station.

When officers arrived, both the victim and Abdo were able to identify the man involved in the attack. Police later arrested the man and charged him with assault.

According to police, the victim and suspect are not known to each other.

Abdo says what surprised him most wasn’t necessarily the assault – but how other people nearby failed to react.

“I was really amazed. There was pedestrians both sides of the streets,” he said.

“The girl was screaming. I was just amazed that nobody did any action. I just couldn’t keep driving.”

The owner of the cab company where Abdo works isn’t surprised to hear of his actions.

“I think it’s absolutely incredible when another human sees someone in trouble and steps in and just says I’m going to do everything I can to help,” said Angie Herman, Casino Taxi. “I also wasn’t surprised. I know of other stories where cab drivers have stepped in and helped passengers in their car.”

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Police say the incident could have been much worse and Abdo went the extra mile to intervene and help the victim.

“This taxi driver didn’t have to stop and he went out of the way, put himself at risk, helped this female student so it’s an important message to get out to the public as well,” said Lane.

“I thought it was the right thing to do. Honestly, I didn’t think. I just did it,” said Abdo.

The suspect – whose name has not yet been released – will appear in Halifax Provincial Court on May 23 to answer to assault charges.