Lacrosse player injured near Hitchin over taxi row fare

PUBLISHED: 07:02 26 November 2012

Nick Heys Whatts

Nick Heys Whatts

Archant

A TEENAGER who is visiting the UK to train with the national lacrosse team has been left bedbound, after allegedly being dragged along a road by a car.

Canadian Nick Heys Whatts, 19, is staying at The Cricketers in Ickleford.

Mr Heys Whatts has been left in a “sorry state” after he says he was pulled along the road by a taxi which trapped his arm in the window, following a night out in Hitchin.

He has been left with injuries to his face, leg, arm and shoulder, and cannot play lacrosse at the moment.

He claims a taxi driver, who drove him from The Ivory in Hitchin to Ickleford, took a long route back, then tried to charge him a large amount of money.

He says he was then verbally attacked by the driver when he could not pay the full amount.

“The window started going up, and my arm was stuck,” he said.

“The car started driving, and my shoe ripped in half. The window was released and I went face first into the pavement, hitting the left side of my face. All I remember is my head bouncing off the pavement, just like in a movie when someone gets shot.”

He added: “My face is sore, I have a swollen shoulder, my face is covered in wounds, and I can’t feel my arm or lift my other shoulder.”

Mr Heys Whatts was admitted to Lister Hospital on Sunday, and released that evening.

Ray Harry, who runs the pub, rang an ambulance on the Sunday morning. He has also been speaking to police and the Canadian Embassy.

“He’s in a very sorry state,” he said.

“He’s in a bit of shock, I’m really worried. I’m doing as much as I can to help to assist.”

Police, who are investigating the incident, said they could not comment at this stage on whether the taxi was believed to be licensed or not.

A spokesman said: “Police are investigating an alleged assault on a 19-year-old male on Arlesey Road, Ickleford, at around 4am on Sunday.

“It is believed that an altercation between a taxi driver and the victim, who was outside the vehicle, led to the victim’s arm being trapped in the taxi’s door and being pulled along the road.

“His arm was released allegedly causing the victim to fall to the ground and causing him minor injuries.

“Anyone with information about the incident should contact police on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.”


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