Drunk man punched female taxi driver, court hears
A DRUNK who tried to wrestle the wheel from a cab driver and punched her before running off has been placed on probation.
Mathew Terrence Busiko was on his way from Mooloolaba to Alexandra Headland on February 22.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Jamie Baker told the Maroochydore Magistrates Court Busiko had asked to be taken to the Blue Bar but announced he did not have any money and would not be paying the fare.
Sgt Baker said Busiko tried to get out of the car while it was moving, and then tried to grab the wheel, causing the cab to veer across the road.
After punching the driver in the arm, Busiko ran off.
Police spotted Busiko leaving an Alexandra Headland bar obviously "intoxicated".
The 30-year-old later recorded a blood alcohol concentration of 0.168%.
Busiko's lawyer told the court that Busiko turned to drink to deal with the pressure of debt after losing his job.
He said his client had moved back to Roma to live with his parents and had not had a drink for five months.
Busiko pleaded guilty to five offences, including unlawfully interfering with the mechanism of a vehicle, driving under the influence, common assault, and fare evasion, as well as a charge of public nuisance over punches thrown at a Roma nightclub last December.
Magistrate Rod Madsen placed him on 13 months probation, disqualified him from driving for six months, and fined him $455. He had to pay $450 restitution to the driver.