TORONTO, Ont. – An 18-year-old Toronto man faces charges after a taxi driver was attacked in Etobicoke Wednesday night.
A taxi driver picked up a man in the Gerrard Street East and Jones Avenue area shortly after 8 p.m.
The man asked to be taken to Lake Shore Boulevard West and Thirty-Eighth Street.
Police said the man then attacked the driver with a knife once at the location.
When the taxi driver managed to get out of his taxi, the man drove off in the taxi.
Police said the man abandoned the taxi and was arrested while on foot.
The 56-year-old taxi driver was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries to the back of his head and hand.
Tylor Duhamel, 18, of Toronto, is charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and robbery.
Following the attack, a taxi organization is calling for tougher sentences to cut down on the number of attacks on cab drivers.
iTaxiworkers Association executive director Jackie Edwards says changes in the law would recognize that driving a cab is far more dangerous than most professions.
“They’re alone, they’re often asked to go to isolated places.”
“It is very dangerous. It’s really easy for just somebody to assault you and jump out and run down the street.”
Edwards says special charges should be laid when cabbies are assaulted.
“We like to think that taxi drivers — who are over 10,000 of them serving the public — really need to have more protection and have tougher sentences to discourage that type of assault.”