WARNING: This post contains foul language that may be offensive to some readers.
Saskatoon police are investigating a viral video showing a Saskatoon taxi cab driver swinging a snow brush and chasing a woman who was cursing at him.
The posting on Facebook early Monday morning has generated many questions surrounding the incident as it garnered more than 56,000 views in 14 hours.
“It’s early on and in this case, very, very public, but it’s something that we’ll be reviewing all the evidence and taking a look here over the next few days,” said police Chief Troy Cooper on Tuesday.
According to Comfort Cab, the incident played out the night of Nov. 11 in the 700-block of Melrose Avenue.
In the company’s own video taken inside the taxi, the passenger repeatedly asked the driver where he’s from, telling him “maybe you should go back.”
He later asked the woman to get out, but she stayed in the vehicle. The company said it trains its drivers to pull over and ask the fare to get out if they are uncomfortable.
Upon arrival at her destination, the driver said “let me go” at least three times before the fare eventually exits the van.
Global News contacted the woman who posted the video whose only comment was that she was waiting to hear from her lawyer.
The City of Saskatoon is investigating whether any actions contravened the city’s taxi bylaw, a communications official confirmed Tuesday.
Any measures taken would be done between the taxi company and the driver, according to the city.
Comfort Cab and United Cabs manager Shondra Boire said their driver’s actions were not acceptable, but he was provoked.
“It kind of looks premeditated. She is wearing what we believe is to be some kind of recording glasses of some sort that she does turn on and off,” Boire said.
“Very typically we see that customers will post just a small snippet of a situation and not telling the whole story … we got the video first thing this morning, reviewed it, and it’s very apparent that he kind of was provoked right from the very get-go.”
Comfort Cab said the driver was suspended Monday pending an investigation by city officials and the driver’s union. He is expected to be back on the job Tuesday night.
Boire said something happens outside the vehicle as he tried to drive away, but it wasn’t caught on their video.
“Then something does happen, something hits the cab … we’re not sure exactly what happens. The driver doesn’t really remember what exactly happened, if he knows something hit the cab, that’s when he got out with his snow brush and chased her across the boulevard,” Boire said.
“His actions are not appropriate by any stretch of the means, I get his frustration building throughout the video, there’s many circumstances. He’s kept his cool. He tried to diffuse the situation.”