B’nai Brith Canada is pleased that a taxi driver caught on video punching a Jewish man in a condominium parking garage in the Montreal borough of St-Laurent on July 28 has been charged with assault.
Montreal police did not make the suspect’s name public, or specify the charges.
The cabbie was immediately fired by Champlain Taxi and had his taxi license revoked, after B’nai Brith brought the incident to light.
The victim, who was wearing a kippah, alleged that the altercation began after the suspect blocked the entrance to the underground garage after dropping off a passenger.
When another driver, a man also wearing a kippah, pulled up behind the taxi and honked, the cabbie allegedly yelled, “I won’t move for any f—ing Jews.”
When the alleged assault victim intervened, asking him to move, the cabbie allegedly shouted in English and Arabic, “I’ll never move for you f—ing Jews. I’m going to kill you.”
It is comforting to learn that the alleged perpetrator of this shocking hate crime has been charged.
– Michael Mostyn
The alleged victim then got out of his car to take a photo of the taxi license and number. That’s when the cabbie allegedly grabbed him in a headlock and punched him at least 10 times in the head and chest until a parking attendant broke it up. She too was struck, according to the victim’s account.
The cabbie then allegedly fled the scene.
At least part of the incident was caught on the garage’s surveillance camera.
B’nai Brith said the police told the organization on Sept. 5 that the former taxi driver was arrested on Aug. 21.
“It is comforting to learn that the alleged perpetrator of this shocking hate crime has been charged,” stated Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith’s CEO. “Violent attacks such as this one cannot be tolerated and must always be met with severe legal consequences.”
At the time, Champlain Taxi issued an apology saying, in part, that, “We have been serving the Jewish community for over 40 years and there is no way we will let such a situation end this faithful relationship.… Champlain Taxi does not condone any aggression, racism or discrimination. Anybody caught is automatically expelled from the company.”
However, Champlain added, “You must understand that drivers are independent workers and are responsible for their behaviour. Drivers are simply associated with taxi companies, but, of course, must follow certain rules and respect.”