Man arrested over Coast taxi driver bashing

A MAN who allegedly bashed a Sunshine Coast taxi driver and stole his cab after he refused to drive him to Brisbane has been arrested and charged.

Sunshine Coast detectives from the Maroochydore Criminal Investigation Branch charged a 20-year-old Redbank Plains man over the incident on Saturday night.

About midnight, the driver picked up a man from a cab rank in Ocean St, Maroochydore.

As they were driving off, the man advised that he wished to be taken to an address in Brisbane.

After being told by the driver that he could not take him to Brisbane, the man allegedly became aggressive causing the driver to pull over to the side of the road in Maroochydore Rd.

It will be alleged the man grabbed the taxi metre and pulled it from the roof of the car before grabbing the driver around the neck and pushing his fist into his face.

The driver managed to struggle free and run from the vehicle, with the passenger chasing him down the road for a short distance, before returning to the taxi and driving off.

The driver was not physically injured and attended a nearby service station where he contacted police.

The stolen taxi was allegedly driven to Brisbane and was abandoned at the intersection of Colton and Norman Avenues, Lutwyche.

It was located by police significantly damaged about 2.50am on the morning of January 21.

Detectives have charged a 20-year-old Redbank Plains man with high range drink driving, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and armed robbery.

He is due to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on February 22.