Police are investigating a nasty road rage brawl between taxi drivers in North Beach Friday night that left one of the cabbies with a gash on his head from a tire iron.
The dispute apparently began after the victim cabbie honked his horn at the suspect, a driver for a different cab company, at Pacific and Columbus avenues around 9:30 p.m., police Sgt. Mike Andraychack said.
The victim, a 51-year-old Tracy man, laid on the horn because the suspect, a 46-year-old Berkeley man, did not immediately move after the light turned green, police said.
The two cabs apparently went through the intersection until the suspect cabbie, a 46-year-old Berkeley man, slammed on the brakes, hopped out of the car and cursed the other driver. The Tracy man then got out of the car to argue with the Berkeley driver.
The enraged Berkeley man head-butted the Tracy man, then went back to his cab to fetch a tire iron, Andraychack said. He allegedly bashed the Tracy man over the head with the tire iron, the police spokesman said.
The suspect then fled in his cab. The injured Berkeley man drove to Central Station to report the attack, Andraychack said.
Officers brought the victim to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a gash on his head and a swollen cheek. The injuries were not life threatening.
The victim told cops the suspect’s cab company and cab number, which helped police track him down in the 600 block of Broadway. The Berkeley driver was detained and brought to the hospital, where the victim positively identified him, Andraychack said.
The suspect’s name was not available. He was released from custody pending further investigation, Andraychack said.