ZB

Taxi driver has gun pointed at head: 'I will shoot you!'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 May 2022, 4:06pm
Two people have appeared at Christchurch District Court after a taxi driver allegedly had a gun pulled on him on Friday night.
Two people have appeared at Christchurch District Court after a taxi driver allegedly had a gun pulled on him on Friday night.

Taxi driver has gun pointed at head: 'I will shoot you!'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 May 2022, 4:06pm

A taxi driver who allegedly had a passenger point a gun at his head and threaten to shoot him has vowed to keep driving. 

The driver, who the Herald has agreed not to name, says the man produced the firearm shortly after picking him up and said: "If you're not stopping, I will shoot you." 

Near the end of his shift, the 29-year-old driver for Blue Star taxis was called out to a motel in Upper Riccarton in Christchurch at around 7.30pm on Friday. 

It was a dark area with no streetlights when a man and woman opened the rear doors of his Toyota Prius and got in. 

There was confusion around just where they wanted to be taken. 

The driver headed back down Riccarton Rd towards the city centre. 

Just 500m into the journey, the driver says a long-barrelled gun was produced and held to his head. 

He says he pushed the gun away with his hand and kept driving. 

The male passenger allegedly told him: "If you're not stopping, I will shoot you." 

He managed to flee from the vehicle around the Church Corner area and ran off. 

Two members of the public helped him and they phoned police, who arrived on the scene quickly. 

The taxi was then allegedly stolen and driven to Ashburton, around 85km away. 

Police tracked down the taxi less than an hour later and arrested a man and a woman. 

The pair, Daniel Joseph Patrick Leahy, 31, and Latia Opal-Rose Tipa-McQueen, 19, face a raft of charges, including aggravated robbery, and unlawful possession of a shotgun and 28 rounds of ammunition. 

They first appeared at Christchurch District Court on Saturday and were remanded in custody. 

This afternoon, the driver told the Herald that he's been left shaken by the incident. 

However, he says he will return to work, but first has to wait until his taxi is repaired. 

"I just feel lucky that I am safe," he said. 

Blue Star chairman Martin Miller said the industry is "shocked and appalled" by the incident. 

"Having a gun pulled on you, the poor guy is pretty shaken up," Miller said. 

"We're here to provide a service. 

"Luckily the police were on to it and they were able to track the car." 

- by Kurt Bayer, NZ Herald