A TAXI driver who came close to death when thugs attacked his cab has spoken of his trauma – and questioned why police haven’t arrested the culprits.
Stuart Woodward, from Stroud, said he could have been killed when yobs threw a scaffolding pole at his cab from the top of the Merrywalks car park.
The 63-year-old, of AAA Taxis Stroud, told the SNJ: “The police have told me they have two suspects but they’ve not been arrested. They say they’re waiting to interview them. I don’t understand – why haven’t they been arrested?
“It’s five weeks since it happened, what’s stopping [the culprits] going up there and doing it again?”
After the incident on September 1, a fellow taxi driver described the attack on Stuart as ‘attempted murder’.
Stuart told the SNJ that after a pole smashed had come through his windscreen, he saw two more just miss a young female taxi driver who was driving behind him.
“I saw her swerve one pole and then another one came down and just missed her car,” he said.
“She’s a woman with a two-yearold baby and if they’d hit her car they could have taken her life.”
Stuart said he immediately rang 999 after the attack on his taxi and told the SNJ he was surprised to be told the incident wasn’t an emergency.
“They said ‘Are you hurt?’ I said, ‘No, but someone’s throwing scaffolding poles off the multi-storey car park’.
“They said it wasn’t an emergency and they’d get someone there as soon as they could. It took 20 minutes.”
After the incident in Rowcroft Retreat, at the side of the multi-storey car park where taxis queue for the rank, on September 1, Stuart was due to go on holiday to Spain just a few hours later.
“I couldn’t sleep – I had nightmares,” he said. “I didn’t enjoy the holiday at all.”
And now that Stuart’s home, he said he doesn’t feel as comfortable and safe as he used to.
“I’ve been taxiing for 14 years and I love my job,” he said.
“But I feel much more apprehensive now.
“It’ll be a long time before I drive up Rowcroft Retreat again.”
Inspector Sarah Blake, from the Stroud Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We understand concerns that have been raised around this investigation, however, unfortunately, technical issues have meant that officers have been unable to retrieve CCTV footage from the local area.
“Attempts to speak to two individuals we believe to have been involved are ongoing and further enquiries will be followed in due course.”