THURGOONA man Benjamin Resta had too much to drink and when travelling home in a taxi felt he was going to be sick.
A court heard yesterday how Resta asked the driver to stop, but he kept going.
Resta jumped out of the taxi while it was still moving and vomited at the side of the road before getting back into the front passenger seat.
He was advised by the driver that an additional $50 needed to be paid to clean up vomit.
Resta refused the request, grabbed the driver around the neck and punched him to the head with a closed left fist.
The driver’s jumper was ripped in the scuffle before Resta opened the door and fell out.
He fell to the bitumen surface, knocked out two front teeth, suffered cuts and bruises to the face and a compound fracture of his left thumb.
Now he is more than $1000 out of pocket and on a 12-month bond after pleading guilty in Albury Local Court to offences of assault and failing to pay the correct fare.
Magistrate Tony Murray said when imposing the bond and a $1000 fine on the assault charge that there is significant public interest to ensure cab drivers are protected.
Resta, 27, of Meyer Place, Thurgoona, was fined $50 for failing to pay the fare and ordered to pay $69.70 compensation.
Solicitor Mark Cronin said it was Resta’s first court appearance and he was clearly affected by alcohol on the night.
“At all times, he was prepared to pay the fare,” Mr Cronin said.
He said there was no injury to the driver from the single blow inflicted by Resta.
Resta had 10 beers at a motel and then went to a friend’s place in Lavington where he had 10 bourbon and cokes.
He was being driven home soon after 11.45pm on July 12 when he indicated he was going to be sick.
After crashing to the roadway and being injured, Resta was taken to the Albury hospital for treatment.
Police obtained the closed circuit footage from the taxi which showed the incident.
“He certainly has sustained substantial injuries,” Mr Murray said.