Teenager Matthew Bradley’s night out ended in bloodshed when he was stabbed - by a taxi driver.
Detectives today issued a specially-generated image of the cabbie who is wanted for questioning about the painful wounds inflicted on the 18-year-old.
The driver of the white saloon car appears to have lost the plot when Matthew and a mate refused to pay more than the agreed fare for a late-night trip from Rotherham to their home village of Rossington, near Doncaster.
It is believed the cabbie used a screwdriver, key or other implement to stab Matthew in the back of his left leg, near his buttock, in retaliation.
The wound needed to be cleaned and treated at hospital - and left the self-employed online trader struggling to walk and get out of bed for days afterwards.
So far police inquiries in establishing the identity of the driver on the Rotherham taxi ranks have drawn a blank.
“I wonder if other drivers are worried about the bad publicity,” said Matthew, who lives in Hesley Road. “It’s been very painful and I couldn’t walk for two or three days but it’s healing up now. The doctors said if it had been a wound in the same place on the other leg I could have bled to death.
“This has put me off going in a taxi again. I would only go in one now if I knew the driver.”
The incident started when Matthew and his friend, Adam Smith, got into a taxi close to the Pop nightclub in Rotherham town centre. They asked to be taken to Rossington and asked how much the fare would be.
They agreed a price of £28 and paid cash in advance to the taxi driver before leaving Rotherham.
“When we got out I think it said £25 or £26 on the meter so he had got some extra,” said Matthew. “I was on the phone to my girlfriend and the taxi driver got out and it looked like he was checking to see if the doors were shut.
“Then he said he wanted £40 and my mate told him in no uncertain terms we wouldn’t pay that much.
“Then he sort of made a grab for my legs and I started to run up the street but I felt a pain like cramp in my leg. When I put my hand to where it was hurting there was a rip in my jeans and blood everywhere so I ran into a friend’s garden for help. I think then the driver got back in his car and drove off. I don’t know what he used but the wound is not like it was a knife, so it might have been a screwdriver or a key.”
Police have taken possession of Matthew’s bloodstained jeans as evidence.
The driver was in his late 20s to early 30s and Asian. He was 5ft 8ins to 5ft 10ins tall, stocky, with long, straight, dark hair about an inch past his ears, with a fringe styled diagonally from left to right, covering his forehead. He also had a full beard and moustache.
n Anyone with information about the incident, at around 2.30am on Friday, June 3, is urged to call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 220 2020 quoting incident number 152 of June 3.