taxi.jpgA taxi driver was arrested Friday night after he allegedly struck a fellow cabbie with a tire iron in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood when the victim honked his horn at him, a police spokesman said today.

The attack was reported at about 9:30 p.m. Friday near the intersection of Columbus and Pacific avenues.

The two men, drivers for different taxi companies, were each heading east in their cabs on Pacific Avenue when they reached the stoplight at Columbus Avenue, police Sgt. Mike Andraychak said.

When the light turned green, the cab driver in front did not immediately move, so the cabbie behind him, a 51-year-old Tracy resident, honked his horn, Andraychak said.

The driver of the other cab, a 46-year-old Berkeley man, then got out of his vehicle and yelled profanities at the other cabbie. When the Tracy man got out of the car, the pair began to struggle and the suspect head-butted him, according to Andraychak.

The Berkeley man then went to his car and pulled out a tire iron from the trunk, which he used to strike the victim in the back of the head, Andraychak said.

The victim was able to fend off further blows, and the attacker got in his cab and drove away. The victim drove to the nearby Central Police Station and reported the attack, Andraychak said.

He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for a gash on his head and a swollen cheek, and is expected to survive.

The victim remembered the suspect’s cab company and cab number–information police used to track down the driver in the 600 block of Broadway and detain him, according to Andraychak.

Officers took the suspect to the hospital, where the victim identified him as the attacker.

A tire iron was also seized from the cab, Andraychak said.

The suspect’s name was not immediately available today because he has been released pending further investigation, Andraychak said.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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