An Indian taxi driver is facing charges over the bashing of a passenger who was knocked unconscious in a suburb here in Australia, media reports said on Thursday.
The 25-year-old passenger was involved in a heated argument with the cab driver around 10 pm on Wednesday, as they pulled over in Acland Street in St Kilda, Australian news agency AAP reported.
A witness said the passenger tried to walk away but the cab driver chased him down and had to be restrained by security staff working at a nearby business.
The passenger kept walking away as the cab driver then grabbed a baton from the boot of his cab, drove up next to the passenger and allegedly started striking the man repeatedly with the weapon, according to the witness.
"Within a few minutes, many other cab drivers, all of them Indian, all turned up," witness Karen told Fairfax Radio Thursday. "And I could just see how out of hand this is all getting."
Paramedics say they treated the passenger for bruising and swelling to his upper body and took him to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition.
The 32-year-old cab driver was arrested and later charged with intentionally causing injury and two counts of unlawful assault.
Police say they cannot discuss the case further because the cab driver is facing charges before the courts.
He is expected to make a court appearance in Melbourne Magistrates' Court at a later date.