Driver choked and struck on head during hijack ordeal

A taxi driver has been choked and hit on the head during a hijacking ordeal in Co Tyrone.

Google Streetview of the Gortonis Road in Coalisland
Google Streetview of the Gortonis Road in Coalisland

The incident took place in the Gortonis Road area of Coalisland in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police said the driver was assaulted and had his car stolen after he refused a request to change the destination of the fare.

Detective Sergeant Robinson said: “It was reported, just before 2.25am, that three males jumped into a taxi on Platers Hill.

“While travelling, the men advised the taxi driver of a change of destination, and when the driver refused to take them there, he was assaulted. He was choked and hit on the head, but managed to get out of the car.”

DS Robinson said the driver has been left badly shaken following the attack.

“The suspects then drove off in the car – a silver-coloured Skoda Octavia, which was later found abandoned on the Gortgonis Road,” he said.

“One of the men is described as wearing a black top, and another is described as being smaller in build with a goatee beard.

“As you can imagine, this was a traumatic ordeal, which has left a man badly shaken.

“I am appealing to anyone with information, or who may have noticed the Skoda Octavia, to contact detectives on 101 quoting reference number 275 of 08/12/19.”

Information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous.