04/16/2014 09:54 EDT | Updated 06/16/2014 05:59 EDT

Cabbie beaten in St. John's, forefinger and thumb bitten

A part-time taxi driver who had been attending university in St. John's since arriving from Pakistan was viciously attacked in St. John's, and is now in Halifax undergoing treatment.

Police have charged a 33-year-old man from Mount Pearl with assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats in the attack of the part-time Co-op Taxi driver, who is a foreign student from Pakistan and studying engineering at Memorial University.

Sources said it took five RNC officers to get the accused into a squad car.

According to Co-op Taxi general manager Doug McCarthy, the cab driver picked up a fare in the downtown area Sunday around 2 a.m. and drove the passenger to the Hamlyn Road area in the city's west end. 

McCarthy said the male passenger got out, went to a house and started kicking the door. 

The driver called the cab company to ask for some advice and was told to contact police. 

By the time the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary arrived on the scene, the cab driver had been pulled from the car and attacked.

He had a forefinger and thumb bitten, and one of his collar bones was broken.

McCarthy said the driver cannot speak and is on a liquid diet because of the beating. He was treated at a St. John's hospital and is now in Halifax.

He had applied for a visa to the United States, where he was scheduled to give a presentation this week. McCarthy said the presentation could possibly lead to a scholarship for the driver.

McCarthy added such attacks make it difficult to find drivers to work night shifts. A senior driver with Co-op Taxi was recently robbed at knife-point and will now only work day shifts in suburban areas.