Bizarre taxi standoff over $12 fare: 'You are absolutely crazy'

Video has emerged of an unusual argument between a taxi driver and passenger which unfolded down a major Sydney road.

·2-min read

A heated spat with a taxi driver through the middle of Sydney has been caught on camera with the passenger claiming he was being taken hostage.

The bizarre standoff in Darlinghurst broke out when Fabian Webb tried to pay by card but the driver refused, demanding cash instead, Nine News reports.

The cabbie then took off along Oxford Street with his passenger still inside the vehicle.

Fabian Webb claims the taxi driver refused to let him out over a $12 fare. Source: Nine News
Fabian Webb claims the taxi driver refused to let him out over a $12 fare. Source: Nine News

Clearly concerned, Mr Webb flung open both rear side doors hoping it would encourage the driver, who continued driving at about 40 to 50 kilometres, to stop.

“Can you pull over?” he can be heard asking in the video. “You are absolutely crazy… Can you just release my f***ing bags and let me out mate, it’s 12 f***ing bucks.”

With the driver failing to stop, tensions escalate and Mr Webb begins to scream to the public.

“Help, help, call the police!” he yells to the street.

“Head to the police station, let me go with my bags,” he says to the driver. “You’re taking me hostage, do you understand how serious this is?”

Passenger finally freed and driver suspended

Eventually, the driver pulls over but still demands the $12 cab fare in cash. Explaining that he can’t withdraw cash on a work credit card, Mr Webb again asks for the machine to put his pin in to pay but the driver refuses.

Fortunately a passing police officer stepped in to help, and the desperate passenger was let out.

“I was honestly quite scared for my safety, I wasn't sure what was going to happen,” Mr Webb told Nine News.

While police haven’t charged or fined the taxi driver, he has reportedly been issued with a warning by officers and stood down by his employer 13cabs.

"The incident is being investigated after the passenger made a formal complaint," a spokesperson for 13cabs told Yahoo News Australia. "The driver has been been suspended.

While Nick Abrahim from NSW Taxi Council told Nine News that "drivers shouldn’t get involved in what type of method the passenger uses to pay”.

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