Northumbria Police officers were called to attend reports of an assault and vehicle theft on a working taxi driver in the North Shields area.
Police say the cabbie, 28, was taken to hospital after suffering a fractured skull and non-life threatening injuries to his face, after being attacked in the early hours of this morning.
Three males flagged the cabbie down on Weyhill Avenue, in Meadow Well, and then attacked him with what is currently an unknown weapon.
After assaulting the driver, the offenders are then said to have stolen his taxi and drove off from the scene of the attack. The cab was later found burnt out on Brackley Grove, North Shields.
A manhunt in North Shields is now underway to locate those responsible.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101, quoting reference 18 260619, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Images: Google Maps / Northumbria Police