Cab driver released from hospital, continues to heal after stabbing and robbery in Regina
Patrick Veinot, a staff representative at United Steelworkers (USW), took action and created a GoFundMe page after a Regina cab driver was robbed and assaulted, leaving him in serious condition in the hospital.
The GoFundMe page identified the cab driver as Muhammad Umar, a 34-year-old father of four children, all under the age of 10.
On Friday morning, April 13, Umar thought he was picking up his next customer. While driving his customers to what he believed would be their final destination, the GoFundMe page claims he was slashed in the throat and stabbed multiple times in his side and stomach.
Umar was able to escape the cab and was left on the streets for police to find him. An ambulance was called, and Umar was transported to the hospital.
Just a few days later, on April 15, members of the RCMP were able to locate two suspects responsible for this crime, but it didn’t come without a fight.
RCMP spotted the cab, a black Dodge Caravan, heading east on Highway 16. When it came to a stop just west of Delmas, police said shots were fired at officers and an RCMP member shot back.
RCMP said a vehicle was then used to strike the van, causing it to become stuck in the ditch. Police said that someone in the van then pointed a gun at officers.
With the help of an RCMP police dog, two arrests were made.
Tristan Pinder, 19, from Elk Point, Alta., and Verena Petruka, 30, from Melville, Sask., were charged with discharging a firearm with intent, assaulting a police officer, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and theft and possession of stolen property.
The GoFundMe page claims that the USW has been trying to prevent violence for taxi drivers and are trying to ensure that they have access to insurance through the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).
Organizers of the GoFundMe page stated that they are currently fighting for WCB coverage for Umar.
The Saskatchewan Taxi Cab Association (STCA) released a statement for Umar on April 25 recognizing his injuries and offering their support to him. The statement concluded with an urgent reminder that all drivers should ensure that they are equipped with proper insurance.
“The Saskatchewan Taxi Cab Association and everyone in our community wished Mr. Umar a speedy recovery,” STCA spokesperson Shondra Boire said. “We applaud the efforts of the ongoing GoFundMe campaign and we will do what we can to support it and Mr. Umar here in Saskatoon.”
With a goal to raise $50,000 for Umar and his family, over $8,000 was raised on the first day that the GoFundMe page was launched, and on day eight, the count is at over $44,000.
Umar was reportedly released from the hospital on April 23 and is now back home with his family.
His brother Wajid Ali, also a cab driver, said it will be months before he heals from his injuries, and even longer before he is able to heal mentally and emotionally.
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