A taxi driver believes he may have lost an eye after being hit in the face by a drunk passenger’s stiletto heel in a vicious attack.
Afaq Iftikhar, 32, was left with life-changing injuries after allegedly being assaulted by a woman and her friends after asking them to leave his cab in Birmingham.
Doctors told the dad-of-three that his right eye was too badly damaged to be saved after a four-hour operation.
The private hire driver told how he was attacked at 4.30am on Saturday after picking up four women and a man from the Arcadian Centre.
Mr Iftikhar – originally from Pakistan – say the situation turned violent after one woman began being sick and he pulled over by a SPAR shop at St Martin’s Square.
The dad, 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 cabbie said the female passenger being sick then attacked him with her stiletto shoe, rupturing his right eye. Two other passengers then began punching him.
Mr Iftikhar was also left with gashes to his head from the group who he says stole money from the taxi.
He was left with blood gushing from his eye for six minutes before help arrived – and now fears he may never drive again.
The taxi driver said: "I’m in really bad shape right now, my world has been turned upside down by this.
"I don’t know what I am going to do or how I am going to look after my kids.
"I am not a British citizen, I can’t get any benefits to help me now.
"I’m scared that I could lose my job because of this.
"The doctor is keeping me in for observation, but he could register me as legally blind.
"Because I am a private hire taxi driver I do not get the same protections as black cabs," said Mr Iftikhar.
"If I had had a security panel between the driving seat and the passengers it would have been a different story."
West Midlands Police has been contacted for comment.
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