This is the moment an Italian taxi driver apparently kicks and thumps a Canadian woman in the centre of Florence.
The incident was filmed on the upscale Via de’ Tornabuoni street in the city of Florence in the Italian region of Tuscany in the early hours of 13th January.
The 33-year-old Canadian woman, name not reported, shared images of her bruised leg on social media and suggested that Florence was not “safe for women and students”.
The woman’s post was reported by local media and quickly went viral. The video of the incident, filmed by an onlooker, was shared by the news site Corriere Fiorentino and has been viewed 740,000 times on Facebook.
According to reports, the incident followed an argument over a EUR-12 (GBP-10) fare.
Meanwhile, the taxi driver has been suspended by the municipal authorities while an investigation is carried out.
The 53-year-old driver, name not reported, claimed he is the real “victim” in the situation because the Canadian tourist was violent first and he was only defending himself.
He told local media: “I’m sorry about the incident and I apologise for it, but the real victim is me.
“During night shifts, we are left alone and the situation is tiring.”
He claimed she broke the divider in the taxi, hit him, and spat at him, sending his mobile phone flying, before trying to damage the front door.
As a result, he has reportedly filed two complaints against the woman for assault and aggravated defamation, claiming that the video does not show the full incident and calling for the images to be taken down from social media.
The cabbie is also preparing a defensive brief to be presented to the taxi commission of the Municipality of Florence, which must decide on his case in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Canadian woman said on Instagram that the driver refused to let her out of the cab when she complained about the EUR 12 already showing on the meter at the start, and that the police initially refused to arrest the driver after he allegedly assaulted her in the street.
The investigation is ongoing.