A taxi driver has released horrific footage of the moment he lost his eye in a stiletto attack as he slams police who couldn’t find the video in his cab.
Afaq Iftikhar, 32, was left with life-changing injuries after he was set upon by a woman and her male friend when he threw them out for vomiting in his cab near the Bullring in Birmingham.
The father-of-three said the woman turned violent and stabbed him in the face with a high heel, rupturing his right eyeball, while her friend punched him and others shouted racist slurs.
Mr Iftikhar was later told by doctors that his right eye was too badly damaged to be saved following a four-hour operation.
Afaq Iftikhar, 32, was left with life-changing injuries after allegedly being set upon by the woman and her friends after asking them to leave his cab near the Bullring in Birmingham. He is pictured in undated photos taken in hospital after the attack
The private hire driver has now revealed footage of the moments before he lost his eye, in which two women and a man can be seen punching him in front of his vehicle.
Mr Iftikhar claims he was forced to release the clip after West Midlands Police allegedly told him they couldn’t find the footage.
But the taxi driver said he found the SD card in his car himself after officers held his vehicle for two weeks.
He said: ‘I’m releasing the video now because throughout this ordeal, the police told me they couldn’t find the footage.
‘But I found it in the camera which was inside my car for the entire two weeks they had it in their care. I feel like they didn’t even look for it.
‘I also want to show people the kind of abuse that we, as drivers, are having to put up with while working – bus drivers get secure panels, so why don’t we.’
Mr Iftikhar said he began to fight back when one of two women involved allegedly started to steal from the cab.
He said: ‘I had to fight back, because at first I tried to call the police, but then the woman started trying to rob me and I knew I was outnumbered by them.
The father-of-three was later told by doctors that his right eye was too badly damaged to be saved following a four-hour operation. Pictured is an injury to his head sustained during the attack
‘I kept asking them to let me go free and take what they wanted, but they just kept attacking me, so I had to defend myself.
‘Now my life has been turned upside down, I can’t see a future for myself anymore.
‘I feel alone, there’s nothing in front of me. I don’t know why this has happened.’
The private hire driver said he was attacked at 4.30am on December 15 after picking up four women and a man from the Arcadian Centre.
Mr Iftikhar – originally from Pakistan – said the situation turned violent after one woman began being sick and he pulled over by a SPAR shop at St Martin’s Square.
The father, who has residency in the UK, said: ‘I got out to ask the girl vomiting to come out, and found one girl stealing money from the front of the cab.
‘I told them I would call the police, and then the guy and girls threatened me. They were saying “what’re you gonna do?”
‘I told them to go and not pay but they attacked me. I told them to take what they wanted and leave me alone, one of them took my car keys.’
The taxi driver said the female passenger being sick then attacked him with her stiletto shoe, rupturing his right eye.
Mr Iftikhar had gashes to his head from the group who he said stole money from the taxi.
He was also left with blood gushing from his eye for six minutes before help arrived.
‘I was just doing my job,’ he said.
‘I thought I was going to die, I was thinking about my family – my entire life flashed in front of my eyes.
‘But I have been amazed at the responses to my story – my partner keeps receiving messages of anger towards the attackers.
‘People understand who was right and who was wrong.’
West Midlands Police confirmed there have been no charges brought since three teenagers were arrested and released under investigation last month.
A spokesman said: ‘Police are investigating an assault on a taxi driver after a dispute with three passengers over fares.
‘The driver was kicked and punched by two of the passengers in Birmingham city centre, sometime between 3.50am and 4.25am.
‘He suffered serious facial injuries.
‘Three people were arrested: a 19-year-old man on suspicion of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, an 18-year-old woman on suspicion of assault and an 18-year a woman on suspicion of theft.
‘All three have been released under investigation.’
In response to Mr Iftikhar’s accusations about the footage Detective Sergeant Ashley Hooton from Birmingham CID said: ‘The taxi was recovered from the scene of the incident.
‘Enquiries are ongoing in order to locate the SD card from the dashcam.’