Taxi driver beaten 'like punchbag' by hijack knife gang
A TAXI driver was left seriously injured after he was beaten "like a punchbag" by three hijackers.
The thugs stole his night's takings at knifepoint and bound his hands and feet while punching and kicking him in the head.
It is the second time Mauzam Aziz (32) has been robbed since becoming a taxi driver two years ago.
The assault on Mr Aziz was carried out after he had been flagged down on the N4 at Palmerstown in west Dublin at around 3.40am yesterday.
When he stopped his BMW, three men jumped in, threatened him with what appeared to be a knife and told him to drive to Lucan.
They told him to stop in the Tubber Lane area. When he stopped the car, they subjected him to what gardai described as a horrific ordeal.
After a barrage of punches and kicks, he was bound and thrown into a bush.
The gang stole his money and mobile phone and then took off in his BMW, which they set on fire a short distance away.
Mr Aziz freed himself and sought refuge at a nearby house, where gardai were called.
After officers spotted the burnt-out car, they carried out a search of the area and arrested three suspects, aged 28, 21 and 19, from Clonsilla, Ballyfermot and Palmerstown.
They were quizzed at Lucan and Ronanstown Garda Stations before being released without charge. A file is being prepared for the DPP.
Mr Aziz, who has been living here for nine years, was rushed to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.
A long-time friend of Mr Aziz, who did not wish to be named, said last night that he had been shaken by the attack but was recovering well. He said Mr Aziz refused to be cowed by the attack: "He will continue. He is not scared. Still he is smiling because he is a very brave person."
He said Mr Aziz thought the men might have been hitting him with a knuckle-duster.
"They punched everywhere. Then they tied his hands and legs and put him in the bushes. He went to the nearest house and rang the bell there.
"At first they refused to answer but when they saw he was seriously injured and bleeding, they opened the door and called the gardai."