The Coffs Coast Advocate

Damage to maxi taxi is not 'fare'

OUR cabbies don't deserve to be treated the way Ray Tregaskis was last weekend.

The Coffs Harbour Taxis driver picked up two men in Grafton Street at 1.30am on Sunday and took them to the nearby Bailey Centre.

While one of them was buying cigarettes, the other one, according to Ray, became abusive.

The other man returned, and his mate, who continued the abuse, was asked to leave the maxi taxi in Marcia Street.

They both hopped out but refused to pay the $10 fare. Ray demanded payment, but they walked off.

He confronted them again a short distance away and rang the police.

One of them men stayed behind and was told by an officer on the other end of the line to pay the fare, which he did.

But he then became aggressive and punched and kicked the side of the cab, leaving behind unsightly dents.

Ray, who described the situation as daunting, wanted to get away quickly, but he unfortunately reversed into a pole, causing major rear-end damage to his cab.

The repair bill will be an estimated $6000.

But even more alarming for Coffs Harbour Taxis is the cab, which is frequently used to accommodate people in wheelchairs, will be off the road for nearly two weeks.

“I shouldn't have worried about the fare, but it was the principle,” Ray said.

Coffs Harbour Taxis manager Kevin McKenzie said having the cab out of action was 'an inconvenience to our customers in Coffs Harbour because of this unsavoury person'. “I will be pursuing this incident with the police, along with attacks on any of our cabs. We will pursue prosecution,” he said.

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