Date
18 December 2017
Andrew Wells (inset) was released unconditionally after the taxi driver decided not to press charges, Photos: HKEJ, Linkedin
Andrew Wells (inset) was released unconditionally after the taxi driver decided not to press charges, Photos: HKEJ, Linkedin

Former govt official Andrew Wells arrested in taxi row

A former housing deputy secretary was arrested for alleged assault and criminal damage after a fight with a taxi driver who refused him a ride.

Andrew Wells, 58, was released unconditionally after the taxi driver decided not to press charges, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

Wells and his wife boarded a taxi on Jackson Road in Central around 11 p.m. on Tuesday and asked the driver to take them to Kowloon.

The 45-year-old driver offered to take them to a nearby cross-harbor taxi stand, saying his taxi did not ply the route.

Furious with the reply, Wells ordered the taxi driver to stop immediately. Once out, he kicked the vehicle and slammed the trunk, the report said.

When the driver came out to check on the vehicle, Wells choked him with his hands, according to the report.

Responding officers got an earful from Wells, who had then become agitated, before they arrested him.

Lai Ming-hung, chairman of the Taxi and Public Light Bus Concern Group, said taxi drivers should lower their “For Hire” flags if they are not available in order to avoid misunderstandings with customers.

They risk breaking the law if a passenger has boarded the taxi and they refuse to take him to his destination.

If convicted, a driver could be fined HK$10,000 and jailed six months.

Wells, who speaks fluent Cantonese, joined the Hong Kong civil service in 1978.

He was appointed deputy secretary for housing in 1995 and left the government in 2003. He went on to become managing director of Por Yen Charitable Foundation and a senior consultant in Lai Sun Group.

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