A BRADFORD man was left needing surgery after he was lured into a fake taxi and badly beaten up.
Now Josh Ripley’s family and detectives are urging revellers to be careful when choosing a vehicle to get them home.
Mr Ripley, who will turn 23 on Saturday, was yesterday having surgery at Bradford Royal Infirmary after suffering two fractures to his jaw and having three of his teeth knocked out in what police described as a “vicious attack with a completely unnecessary level of violence.”
Mr Ripley, who had enjoyed a night out with a friend in Bradford city centre, was lured into what appeared to be a taxi by a girl passenger in the back seat. The silver saloon, which appeared to have private hire plates, also contained three men, including the driver.
He was being driven towards his home in Shelf when demands were made for his mobile phone.
The car then screeched to a stop and Mr Ripley, a joiner, was dragged out and subjected to a beating, including kicks to his face.
The gang of thugs fled when people from the nearby Prince of Orange pub in Halifax Road went to help. They took him inside and called for an ambulance.
Yesterday, Mr Ripley’s younger brother, Jack, said Josh could have died.
“A man was driving and there were two other men in the car. They were Eastern European.
“They asked him for his phone. The driver slammed on the brakes, got out, and dragged Josh out of the car.
“They beat him and booted him a few times. He was unconscious.
“People from the pub came rushing out and scared them off. They saved his life. If the attackers had carried on beating him he could have died.”
Mr Ripley said the robbers, who were in a T-registered, five-door car, stole his brother’s phone and wallet, containing £20.
He said police had told him the car had fake plates and was not registered as a taxi.
He added: “What these people did to my brother was absolutely atrocious. I am disgusted. They are just cowards. If they asked him he would have just given them the phone.”
Mr Ripley said Josh would be unable to work for six weeks.
“He’s a happy-go-lucky guy, always smiling. He’s just a nice guy who loves life. He didn’t deserve this to happen to him.”
Police said Mr Ripley was assaulted in Cooper Lane, Bradford, by a man and a woman.
Detective Inspector Gary Stephenson, of Calderdale CID, said: “This was a vicious attack with a completely unnecessary level of violence used.
“I want to hear from anyone who witnessed the victim getting into the vehicle, the actual assault or when he was left in Shelf.
“We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who saw the vehicle involved as one line of our investigation is that the occupants of it were pretending the car was a taxi. I would always urge anyone using taxis to either flag down a black cab or to book a taxi through a known and reputable firm.”
The male suspect is described as stocky, and possibly Eastern European. The woman was white, with short brown bobbed hair, and wearing denim shorts.
Witnesses are asked to contact Detective Constable Darren Heald, of Calderdale CID, on 101.
Source: Telegraph & Argus