Fare dodge suspects caught on CCTV

Harrogate police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to trace in connection with an assault on a taxi driver.

The men refused to pay their fare and attacked the driver after he had taken them to Starbeck in the early hours of 26 December 2011.

The driver, a 41-year-old local man, had collected the men from a cab office in the centre of Harrogate at around 4.25am before taking them to Avenue Close, where they asked to get out and told him to leave the area.

The driver didn’t leave and one of the men opened the driver’s door and tried to get to the taxi’s meter. As the driver fended the man off he was punched in the ribs but managed to drive away before stopping to press his emergency call button.

As he stopped the cab one of the men kicked the vehicle and slammed his hand against the driver’s window.

The driver eventually drove off onto Knaresborough Road and back to the taxi base. He was shaken by the incident but otherwise unhurt.

Officers who have been making enquiries to trace the men are now asking the public for their assistance.

PC Joe Swaine, of Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team, said:

The two men we would like to speak to in connection with this incident have been quite clearly captured on CCTV and there is a good chance that someone will recognise them and let us know who they are.

It is totally unacceptable for a someone going about their job to be subjected to an incident like this and I am appealing to the public to help us bring the offenders to justice.

If you can help to identify the men please contact the police or Crimestoppers.

Anyone who can help the investigation is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for Joe Swaine or Harrogate police.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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