File photo Victoria Buzz

A Victoria Taxi driver was arrested and charged with assault after an incident near Tillicum shopping centre on Tuesday afternoon.

David James Taylor says he was leaving the Save-On-Foods grocery store at the mall at around 4 p.m. on Tuesday February 4th when a green Victoria Taxi vehicle sped past him through a Stop sign, barely avoiding hitting the pedestrian.

Taylor says he then turned around and pointed at the Stop sign as a signal to the driver.

According to him, the taxi driver then allegedly got out of his vehicle, walked over to Taylor, picked him up and threw him on the ground, causing a concussion and bruised ribs. The driver then got back in his vehicle and proceeded to drive away.

After this incident, Taylor quickly called 911 and took a photo of the cab. The vehicle was located by Saanich Police shortly afterwards.

“The driver had pulled over and began saying extremely horrible things about me being First Nation,” says Taylor, who works in the Indigenous Education Department at the Greater Victoria School District.

“Once Saanich Police arrived I gave my statement and was lucky enough to have had an either off duty or retired policeman who witnessed the whole incident.”

Taylor alleges the taxi driver lied to police in a statement, telling the cops that Taylor was “homeless” and pestering him for money.

“This is not at all what happened,” Taylor said.

According to Taylor, his view was corroborated by the retired/off duty police officer who witnessed the entire incident.

Saanich Police have confirmed that the cab driver was arrested, charged with assault, and released later on Tuesday on a Promise to Appear in court.

Meanwhile Taylor was transported to hospital in an ambulance to be treated for his injuries.

“There is no information to suggest this incident was racially motivated, but the investigation is ongoing,” says Cst. Anastasiades of Saanich Police.

A spokesperson for Victoria Taxi told Victoria Buzz that management has spoken to the driver in question but will withhold comment until they have spoken to police themselves.

“The investigation is on-going and any witnesses that may have seen the incident are
encouraged to contact the Saanich Police,” said Cst. Anastasiades.