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Halifax man charged for assaulting distracted texter, police say

Man charged for assaulting distracted texter: police

HALIFAX — A Halifax man has been charged with assault after he became enraged by a fellow pedestrian distracted by her cellphone, police say.

Halifax Regional Police said the man punched the woman to the ground Friday afternoon after she almost bumped into him while she was texting.

A 40-year-old man was arrested shortly after and charged with assault. Police say the suspect and the woman do not know each other.

Cab driver Amer Abdo of Casino Taxi says he witnessed the incident while driving in the city's south end with passengers in his car.

"He came from behind her, grabbed her by the head, and then slammed her down," says Abdo. "After she got up, he slammed her again."

Abdo says he reversed his car to confront the man, who said nothing and walked away. The woman got into his car and Abdo contacted police while following the man who walked into a nearby business, he says.

The woman was crying and had difficulty explaining what had happened in English, says Abdo, but luckily the passengers in his cab were able to communicate with her in Chinese.

"Thank God the taxi driver was there," says Sgt. Richard Lane. "The driver's intervention certainly assisted in the apprehension of the suspect, and possibly prevented the assault from becoming more serious."

Abdo says he resumed his shift Friday without giving the incident much thought.

"This girl was helpless. I couldn't just drive off," says Abdo. "It was the normal thing to do."

The accused, whose name was not released by police, is due in court next month.

The Canadian Press