Minibus driver: I did not provoke attack

  • Taking care of visitors: minibus dispatcher and driver Larry W. Franklin Sr (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)

    Taking care of visitors: minibus dispatcher and driver Larry W. Franklin Sr (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)


A minibus operator punched by a taxi driver in a transportation turf war at an island beach said there was tension between the two groups, but that there was enough work for everyone.

Larry Franklin Sr said: “Some people feel the minibus is overpowering. It’s not overpowering because when all of those people need to be moved, the minibus can move them. If a family comes out with 29 people they can all move on one bus instead of four taxis.

“When people come off the beach and say they want a taxi, we don’t put them in a minibus. If they want a taxi, they get a taxi.”

He added: “Taxi drivers can tell you that when I’m dispatching, everyone gets work. If people want to go right away as a family, I put them in a taxi.”

Dr Franklin, 67, who is a former teacher with a PhD in counselling, was speaking days after cabbie Aaron Scott was fined $1,000 for an assault on him at Horseshoe Beach, Southampton in August last year.

Scott, 34, a former pupil of Dr Franklin’s, punched him in the face in a row over passengers in the beach’s car park. Dr Franklin, of Warwick, suffered a cut lip and numbness in his mouth and teeth as a result of the blow.

He said it was a busy day at the beach and several visitors had requested a minibus.

Dr Franklin added: “I assigned them a minibus and they were waiting on the side.

“Aaron came over from where the taxis usually stand to the minibus area asking people if they wanted a taxi, but they didn’t need a taxi so I answered they didn’t need a taxi.

“That is the only thing I said. Seconds later he punched me in my mouth.

Dr Franklin added: “I didn’t know what happened. I felt a punch, my glasses came off, my hat came off.

“He moved away but started to come back as if he wanted to fight me but another taxi driver grabbed him by the neck and held him back. My teeth were knocked back, I couldn’t close my mouth properly and my lip was bleeding.”

He said Scott later apologised but did not offer to pay for his medical expenses.

Dr Franklin said he was caught off guard by the punch and that he had done nothing to provoke the blow.

He said: “I’m a peacemaker. I’m a counsellor and an educator. I’m counselling people about their behaviour. There is no way I would be an example of what I’m telling folks not to do.

“Even when I was teaching at the high school level, I counselled with my kids. I’m a counsellor first, then an educator.

“I have never had a confrontations with anyone. No minibus drivers, no taxi drivers. I think the last time I was punched I was 16 and I deserved it.”

Dr Franklin said that the island’s tourism industry needed a strong minibus operation as well as a good taxi service.

He explained: “We have ships that bring thousands of people to the dock at the same time and they are released at the same time. There are only so many taxis, and they are eaten up just like that.

“The minibuses can carry anywhere from 14 to 29 people at a time and I have seen times when the people have emptied the yard — every taxi is gone, every minibus is gone and minibuses are coming in a rotational basis just to get people to Horseshoe Bay.

“Taxi drivers can say they can leave right away and they can leave right away.

“But a minibus is a shared ride. We’re not leaving with three people. We are paid per person.”

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published Jan 19, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 19, 2019 at 7:20 am)

Minibus driver: I did not provoke attack

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    • "Who are your favourites to win the Cricket World Cup?"
    • Australia
    • 11%
    • Bangladesh
    • 3%
    • England
    • 28%
    • India
    • 17%
    • New Zealand
    • 5%
    • Pakistan
    • 4%
    • South Africa
    • 4%
    • West Indies
    • 27%
    • Total Votes: 3942
    • Poll Archive

    Today's Obituaries

    eMoo Posts