A Norwich taxi driver was attacked with a glass bottle and left for dead by two passengers in a late night attack.

Eastern Daily Press: Taxi driver Andrey Andreev was attacked with a glass bottle and left for dead in a pool of blood by two passengers. Picture: Triangle NewsTaxi driver Andrey Andreev was attacked with a glass bottle and left for dead in a pool of blood by two passengers. Picture: Triangle News (Image: Archant)

Andrey Andreev, 35, had to have four stitches in his lip and suffered cuts and bruises all over his body, face and head.

The shocking attack was caught on his taxi’s dash-cam with his screams and pleas for help clearly heard.

The brutal assault took place when two men – one called Rocky – telephoned ABC Taxis in Norwich, to order a ride.

Mr Andreev picked up the men, one white and the other black, at an address he had been sent by his firm that only accepts pick-ups ordered by phone or on the internet.

Mr Andreev, a Bulgarian who has lived in the UK for almost three years, said: “It was a short trip, but as soon as they got in the back they began harassing me.

“They heard my accent and began abusing me.

“I told them to stop or I would not continue with the journey. But they just kept on being rude and abusive so I stopped the taxi and pressed a panic button to alert the controller.

“I told them to get out of the taxi. I got out of the taxi, then one of them smashed me over the head with a bottle. I was on the ground and they began kicking and punching me. I couldn’t defend myself as I was on the floor.

“I curled up to stop the blows hitting my head.

“One of them tried to get my watch and I was screaming at him to leave me alone. I’d say they were around 24 to 30-years-old.”

Mr Andreev passed out and, when he came round, the two men had fled.

He added: “When I got back in the taxi I looked in the mirror and saw blood pouring down my face.

“I knew I wasn’t far from the hospital so I drove myself to the emergency department.”

Staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital called police and Mr Andreev told them where he had picked up the men and also offered his dash-cam footage.

He said he had never experienced such an assault.

He said: “There was no reason for the men to attack me. I was just doing my job. This has really affected me mentally, and I’m not sure I can continue with the job.

“All through the coronavirus epidemic we have been taking nurses and NHS staff at a discount. I felt proud to be able to do my part.

“It is a job that I enjoy, but now I wonder if I can go on. It has made me very nervous.

“I am still in a lot of pain. I know the bruises will go down, but I still can’t believe someone would do this.

“It was definitely racially motivated as they heard me and were abusing me because of it.”

Mr Andreev, who is studying business management while working full-time and has no family in the UK, had his £300 gold watch smashed by the thugs.

Chris Harvey, from ABC Taxis, said: “It is disgraceful that something like this can happen to one of our drivers who was only doing his job.

“Fortunately these types of incidents are few and far between. We will cooperate fully with the police on this matter.”

A Norfolk police spokesman said: “Police are investigating the assault of a taxi driver in Norwich.

“It follows an incident on Colman Road in the early hours of Monday morning, June 15, at about 1.10am, when two passengers attacked the driver who had asked them to leave the taxi.

“The driver was hit with a glass bottle which knocked him to the ground where he was punched and kicked.

“The victim was taken to hospital and suffered a cut lip, bruising and swelling.

“Suspects fled the scene and enquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible.”

Anyone with information should call Norfolk police on 101, quoting crime reference 36/38949/20.