A TAXI driver was beaten up on Boxing Day during an argument over a £5 tip.
Javed Akhtar is now having to take time off work after he was left battered and bruised by the attack.
Mr Akhtar, 50, picked up a group of three men and a woman from the Little Bull in Middlestown, Wakefield, at around 8pm on Monday.
He dropped off the woman and one of the men in Cross Road, Thornhill, and was given a £5 tip for Christmas as the pair left.
But one of the men left in the back seat behind Mr Akhtar became angry and demanded the money back.
Mr Akhtar said: “He said, ‘that’s not your money,’ and I said, ‘they gave that tip to me for Christmas’.
“Then he said, ‘it’s not your Christmas’ and was using bad language.”
The man in the back said he would refuse to pay for the rest of the journey.
When the other passenger, who was in the front seat, said he would pay instead, the man in the back started swearing again.
“Then he grabbed hold of my neck and started punching me in the eyes and above the eyes,” Mr Akhtar said.
The attacker ran off and Mr Akhtar called his rank to ask the operator to ring the police.
He was looked after by the remaining passenger until officers arrived and took him to Dewsbury and District Hospital, where he was put in a neck brace and given x-rays.
Now Mr Akhtar, who has been a taxi driver for eight years, will have to spend two or three weeks recovering before he can return to work for Village Cars.
He said: “I worry because I can’t run my family without the money I make, and this is a busy time of year for taxi drivers.
“But it’s a very risky job. You don’t know who you are going to pick up and who is going to do what to you.”
A police spokesman said enquiries were ongoing and any witnesses should contact Dewsbury CID by calling 101.