Police are seeking public help in identifying a man who was in a Tauranga taxi when the driver was violently assaulted last night.
The taxi picked up four men from the Welcome Bay shops and drove to Ohauiti Road about midnight.
At the destination the driver was put in a headlock and attacked by the front seat passenger and one man in the rear of the vehicle.
Detective Sergeant Iain Sergeant said the driver managed to get out of the taxi but the assault continued until a neighbour yelled at them.
"As the offenders tried to run off, about half a dozen residents came to the victim's aid and managed to restrain one man," Mr Chapman said.
Another man was arrested a short time later by a dog handler.
Police have CCTV from the taxi of a third man they want to identify.
It is not believed he physically took part in the assault but was part of the group. Police also want to speak with the fourth man who was not captured on the camera.
The victim, a 40-year-old man, spent the night in hospital with head injuries and was discharged today.
Two men aged 18 and 19 appeared in Tauranga District Court today charged with aggravated robbery.
They were remanded in custody until Tuesday, January 29.
Mr Chapman said: "I have to praise the response of local residents who came to the victim's aid. Although we never want the public to put themselves in danger we couldn't do the job that we do without the invaluable help of people willing to stand up for what is right."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Chapman at Tauranga Police on 07 577 4300. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.