Cape Breton cab driver calls for improved safety measures after stabbing
Published Monday, May 14, 2018 6:39PM ADT
Last Updated Monday, May 14, 2018 7:15PM ADT
A Cape Breton cab driver is calling for improved safety measures after her colleague was allegedly stabbed by a 13-year-old boy.
Diane Drover has been driving a taxi in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality for 26 years, but lately she says she has feared for her safety.
“What I do now is when I pull up to a call, the doors are locked until I feel safe enough to let someone in,” says Drover.
Patrol officers with Cape Breton Regional Police noticed a Dynasty taxi stopped on Bentinck Street in Sydney around 3:40 a.m. Saturday. Police say the driver appeared to be involved in an altercation with someone inside the vehicle and was yelling for help.
When officers approached the vehicle, they found the 65-year-old man bleeding and suffering from several stab wounds.
The man was taken to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He has since been released from hospital.
“But for the actions of Const. Cordell Dowe of the Cape Breton Regional Police, the consequences could have been more greater and more dire to the victim in this particular situation as he appeared on the scene,” says Crown attorney Sheldon Nathanson.
A teenage boy has been charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, and two breaches of probation in connection with the incident.
“The Crown is obviously quite concerned that a person of 13 years is charged with such serious offences,” says Nathanson. “We have to look at total circumstances in terms of release. We have to look at why this happened and how to prevent this in the future.”
Neither the police nor the Crown would confirm what type of weapon was used, but sources tell CTV News the weapon was a broken beer bottle, and that the cab driver sustained serious cuts to his hands.
Police say the driver and the accused didn’t know each other, and that the teen had been picked up as a fare.
“What is a 13-year-old doing out at 4 o’clock in the morning, unescorted, in downtown Sydney?” questions Drover. “What are you supposed to think? Who are you supposed to let in your car now?”
Drover says bylaws to protect taxi drivers need to change quickly before someone gets killed.
“It’s going to have to because there’s going to be a few drivers, me included, that I won’t take anybody after a certain hour,” says Drover. “If you’re intoxicated, if you look like you’re going to give trouble or anything, you’re simply just not getting in the car.”
The teen made a brief court appearance Monday. He is due back in court Tuesday for a bail hearing.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore