A Japanese man was assaulted and told he had the coronavirus by a cab driver in a racially-motivated attack in Malta.
The incident occurred last week when the man, identified as Daisuke Endo, went out with his children, according to Lovin Malta. After hailing a cab to return home in Sliema, the driver insisted that Endo wear a mask while inside the vehicle.
The argument then escalated and the driver allegedly hurled racist abuse towards the man and called him “the coronavirus.”
However, the driver did not stop there and proceeded to follow Endo into his residence. The man reportedly kicked his door, shouting racial slurs and accusing Endo of having the virus.
“To be honest, I don’t feel secure living in Malta anymore,” Endo said.
After the incident, Endo reportedly went to a clinic to check his wounds and went to a police station to file a report. He also reported the incident to the taxi company Bolt.
“I am speaking out publicly against this driver as a caution to other Asian people. I’m sure he’s doing it to other Asians too,” Endo said on his social media where he posted a screenshot of the driver’s Bolt profile. “It’s not the first time I experienced such discrimination – it’s why I don’t ride public transport anymore. But after experiencing this with a cab, I feel it’s hopeless.”
A representative from Bolt told the publication they are currently investigating the case and that the driver also reported the passenger as being disrespectful that night. Meanwhile, authorities are looking into the case.