By Danielle Stoppelmann, Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 13, 2013
A taxi driver for the Blue Cab company who is accused of making unwanted advances on a 23-year-old Ann Arbor woman during the weekend pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of assault and battery during an arraignment in the 15th District Court Wednesday. Ann Arbor Police have acknowledged that the case is the third allegation of “assaultive behavior” — including a rape — that has been made against Ann Arbor taxi drivers since late January.
The driver, Ypsilanti resident Mohamed Ahamok, is accused of touching the passenger’s leg while driving, then parking and kissing her before she exited the cab.
The woman — who is not a student at the University — was picked up on the 1200 block of South University Avenue at 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 10.
Judge Elizabeth Hines scheduled Ahamok for a pre-trial hearing on Feb. 25 and appointed him a lawyer, according to court documents. Ahamok is prohibited from having any contact with the victim in the case.
Ahamok was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond, AnnArbor.com reported. This type of bond only requires a defendant to pay if they don’t appear at their next court hearing.
John Etter, president of Blue Cab Company, wrote in a statement that Ahamok has independently contracted with the company since late January and is licensed by the city, a process that includes reviewing the individual’s criminal history and driving record.
Ahamok hasn’t had any reported problems with customers before the recent accusations, Etter wrote.
“We had received no previous complaints regarding this driver,” Etter wrote. “We are not aware of any allegations concerning Blue Cab and any other incidents of inappropriate or criminal behavior.”
The statement also noted that pending the results of the AAPD investigation, Ahamok will not be allowed to lease a taxi from Blue Cab.
“The safety of our passengers is our highest priority,” Etter wrote. “Any complaints concerning our service are thoroughly and promptly investigated. We do not knowingly tolerate any abusive or inappropriate conduct on the part of the drivers who lease our vehicles.”
A female student reported that on Feb. 3, a taxi driver raped her in his cab in a parking lot on the 300 block of East Madison Street. The suspect in that case is still at large. He is described as a white male, in his mid to late 20’s with short brown hair.
In a written statement Wednesday, AAPD Det. Lt. Robert Pfannes acknowledged a third, earlier assault previously unreleased to the media. A 19-year-old University student alleges that on Jan. 23, a taxi driver made acted towards her in an unwanted manner after dropping off two other passengers.
The student alleges that, after parking, the suspect made “inappropriate advances,” including trying to take off an article of her clothing. The student reportedly kicked the driver before exiting the cab. The suspect in that case is described as a male with medium olive complexion.
Pfannes wrote that AAPD is still investigating the Jan. 23 and Feb. 3 incidents, and are “exploring the possibility that the crimes may or may not be related.”
—Managing News Editor Adam Rubenfire contributed to this report.
—Follow Danielle Stoppelmann on Twitter at @dstoppelmann.
Correction appended: A previous online headline of this article referred to an incorrect date.