A taxi driver who threatened a couple with a metal rod in August pleaded guilty to criminal intimidation and refusing to take passengers at the Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Thomas Lam Chun-leong, 55, was charged with threatening a man and a woman in Yan Lok Square, Yuen Long, on August 30.

tuen mun law court
Tuen Mun Law Courts Building. File Photo: Wikicommons.

According to the charges, the couple got into the urban taxi and asked to be taken to Greenfields, a housing estate in the area.

The defendant refused to take the passengers on account of not knowing the directions, even after the passengers said they could should him the way.

YouTube video

The driver became emotional after the couple said they would report the matter to the police and took out a metal rod, asking them to get out of the vehicle. The female passenger required a walking aid.

According to a video taken by photographer Dave Coulson, the driver is heard shouting: “What are you playing at? Get out! I’m a red [urban] taxi!” He also swore and told the couple: “Be careful when you cross the road,” after repeatedly saying he would “smash your heads.”

taxi driver video
Still of video provided by Dave Coulson.

The police launched an investigation after the video surfaced and arrested the defendant, Ming Pao reported.

After being cautioned by the police, the defendant said that the couple harassed him but admitted to threatening them with a metal rod, which he said was a tool to repair the tires. He also said he was not confident that he could take them to their destination.

The hearing will resume on December 5. The defendant has been remanded at Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre in the meantime.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.