A London, Ont. taxi driver who was beaten to death on Saturday is being remembered as a family man with a big heart.
Vijay Bhatia "was such a peaceful person,” Yellow London Taxi president Hasan Savehilaghi told Global News. “Every single positive characteristic or behaviour you could find in a person, you could find in this gentleman — in Vijay … He was highly dedicated to his family.”
Green Taxi partner Fateh Bander told The London Free Press they had been friends for 15 years.
"He was the greatest guy, a family guy,” Bander said.
“Every single positive characteristic or behaviour you could find in a person, you could find in this gentleman — in Vijay."
Bhatia was involved in London’s cab industry for a long time, wrote London Taxi Association president Jason Kukurudziak in a blog post. He left behind a family including a wife, granddaughter and brother-in-law.
“Hopefully the family will find the answers they need from the trial and the solace in knowing that he will be in jail for life,” Kukurudziak said of the suspect.
Police found the 64-year-old without vital signs early Saturday morning. Bhatia was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
23-year-old charged with murder
Cody Perkin, 23, has been charged with second-degree murder, assault and uttering threats.
Bhatia drove Perkin and one other passenger to the Mac’s Milk parking lot where he was assaulted, police said in a release.
“London Police haven’t release the motive yet, whether it was robbery or racially motivated, or just plain stupid anger; it doesn’t matter,” Kukurudziak wrote in his post. “A life was needlessly taken.”