"I saw blood on my hands"
Uber driver Mansoor Ahmad suffered a broken nose in a racist attack on Christmas Day.
The 32-year-old from Brighton worked on Christmas Day to “help the community”.
He picked up three people at 9 pm. The passengers wanted to stop off somewhere and Mr Ahmad said he told them they would need to add the stop into the app, in line with Uber policy.
One of the customers then accused him of ripping them off and shouted racist remarks.
Mr Ahmad then refused to carry on with the journey. He opened the passenger door and boot so they could take their stuff and leave.
Mr Ahmad was then violently assaulted by the passenger.
He explained: “He called me a f****** refugee and f****** P***, and said you’re ripping us off and making money off us. I said I don’t deal with the fares, that is Uber.
“I cancelled the job and they were still sitting in the car, they were not going out because it was raining but I asked them to be respectful and they said they were not going out of the car.
“I thought when I opened the boot they were going to come and get their stuff anyway.
“I still believed they were in the car because they refused to go out but the guy was already out on the left-hand side of the car, I didn’t even see him in the dark.
“Then I saw a white flash in front of my eyes for about 10 to 15 seconds with the first punch, then as I saw him, he was out in front and gave me another punch.
“I saw blood on my hands and said I would call the police, the other person said ‘go, go, go!’ so he started running away.
“Then another person grabbed the stuff and ran away with them.”
His nose did not stop bleeding for two days after the racist attack and Mr Ahmad would wake up with blood on his pillows.
The incident has left him too afraid to leave his home.
Mr Ahmad told The Argus: “To be honest, I am very traumatised and shocked by this incident because I have been in this country for 12 years, I have never touched anyone.
“I have always built a home in the community, I did everything I could.
“Even that day, the intention was not just to make money, the intention was I knew there would be no public transport and people need to go around.
“Now when I feel my nose, literally the bone is broken, it is to one side and one side is blocked.”
“I have a one-year-old daughter in Pakistan, since she was born I haven’t seen her.
“I was going to see her on January 4 and her mum and my parents are asking why I am not video calling and I am just having to lie to them that my camera is not working because if I told them I have been attacked, they will be devastated.
“They will be deeply hurt. They think and I think this is a safe country, but I don’t really feel safe anymore.
“It has been five days and the police haven’t been in contact, they have just given a crime reference number.
“I don’t think Uber really care about these things. Every driver you ask, they don’t feel safe and are scared.
“I just want to work, My dad has a lung condition so I pay for their medical and doctor bills back at home. I’m working every single day, I don’t take a day off, I don’t remember the last day I had off.
“The police arrived at A&E and took my statement. They dropped me home, since then I have not heard anything from them.”
A Sussex Police spokesperson said:
“At 9:51 pm on Christmas Day, we received a call from the ambulance service to report that about an hour earlier a 32-year old taxi driver had been assaulted in Bevendean Road, Brighton, and had been taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
“At 11:42 pm officers spoke to the man by phone and visited him at the hospital soon afterwards. He has sustained a broken nose, and facial cuts and bruising.
“The offence has been recorded as a racially aggravated assault, an investigation is underway and there are several lines of enquiry.
“We are sorry that the victim has not been updated sooner, but we have now spoken to him, reassured him that the investigation is underway and that officers will keep him updated.
“Anyone who saw what happened is asked to contact the police either online or by calling 101, quoting serial 839 of 25/12.
“The report was received at a time when officers were very busy dealing with many calls for their services.
“It was also clear that the victim was in a safe place and receiving medical attention.
“Officers contacted and went to see him as soon as possible, a full statement was taken from him, and photographs were taken of his injuries and of the vehicle at the scene.”