x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Drunk Dubai tourist crashed taxi before running off without paying

Drunk tourist insulted a taxi driver before grabbing the steering wheel and crashing into a pavement.

DUBAI // A drunk tourist angered at being told that no bars were open at 4am grabbed the steering wheel of the taxi he was travelling in and crashed it into the pavement before running off without paying the fare.

He was soon arrested and put in a police patrol car - but responded by grabbing his arresting officer's hat, kicking him and trying to escape through the window.

Prosecutors told the Misdemeanours Court that Briton JK, 35, had been drinking heavily before leaving a hotel at the Mall of the Emirates and hailing the taxi at about 4am on September 1 this year.

"He asked me to take him to Media Rotana Hotel," said the Indian taxi driver NP. He said that the tourist smelled strongly of alcohol and talked continuously during the journey.

"He then asked me to take him to the nearest bar instead," said the taxi driver, who informed the tourist that no bars were open at that time of night.

The tourist then became angry and started shouting and swearing at the driver, before lurching forwards and grabbing the wheel. He steered the car to the right, causing it to hit a pavement.

"He jumped out of the taxi and ran away without even paying the fee," said the driver.

The driver called police and the tourist was arrested near the Grand Millennium hotel. While inside the police patrol car on Sheikh Zayed Road, the tourist grabbed the officer's hat and kicked him before opening the car's window and trying to escape.

The tourist said he had been drinking alcohol from 11pm to 1am on the morning of the incident. He said he paid Dh30 to the driver but the driver demanded more and an argument ensued. "I don't remember pulling the car's wheel," said the tourist. He said he tried to escape from police because he was scared.

"I would like to say I'm sorry to the taxi driver and to police," he added.

The tourist bailed himself out of jail by paying a Dh3,000 deposit. He also paid Dh1,760 in damages to the taxi.

In court he was charged with the illegal consumption of alcohol and fined Dh2,000.

salamir@thenational.ae