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City rallies to help injured cabbie

Published on

Cathy Dobson

Residents are rallying with generosity and kindness to help a Sarnia cab driver recovering from a knife attack, say organizers of a benefit for Roy Leckie.

“We live in an amazing community,” said Joan Lowe, who is planning a fundraiser to help Leckie and his wife pay bills in coming months.

She’s been asking local businesses to donate door prizes and raffle items.

“I haven’t been turned down once,” she said. “I’m not even half way through my story and they are pulling things off their shelves for him and asking how he is.

“It makes me tear up.”

Leckie, 64, picked up a rider near Wellington and Christina streets just before 6 p.m. on July 28.  Sarnia Police say the Sarnia woman asked to go to a Blackwell Road address. Once on Blackwell, the woman said it wasn’t the proper location.

At one point, the taxi stopped and the woman attacked the driver with a knife, slicing at Leckie’s throat, police said.

The cabbie also suffered self-defence cuts to his hands.  He managed to get out of the taxi and the woman grabbed the keys and drove off. A passerby found Leckie bleeding by the side of the road, called 911 and assisted him.

A 21-year-old woman was arrested without incident and charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, theft and driving while disqualified.

“Emotionally, it’s done a number on him and he doesn’t plan to return to work,” said Leckie’s niece Nikki Newman.

“But he had surgery and he’s doing great and is out of the hospital.”

Newman is part of a group of family and friends organizing the Aug. 24 benefit.

“This is a really, really sweet man. He’s driven a taxi for more than 40 years and a lot of people know him in Sarnia, like all the postal workers he’s driven.

“It doesn’t look like he’ll be going back. He’s been through other traumatic events driving cab,” said Lowe.

As an independent operator, Leckie lacks access to financial support and his wife is laid off from her job.

“Physically, he’s getting there and he looks better than he did. Now we’re hoping to get him through the next three to six months with rent and car payments, so they don’t have to worry about that too.”

WHAT: Benefit for Roy Leckie. Live entertainment, finger foods, raffle and door prizes.

WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 24. 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

WHERE: Royal Canadian Legion Hall, 286 Front St.

TICKETS:  $5, available by calling 519-330-6536. Possibly also at the door.

OTHER:  On Facebook, at “Benefit for injured Sarnia Taxi Driver Roy Leckie”

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