Police: Cab driver made unwanted advances

By Ariana Assaf, Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 11, 2013

Update: A suspect has been arraigned in this case and new details have emerged. Read here for more details.

The Ann Arbor Police Department is continuing to investigate allegations that a Blue Cab driver made unwanted advances on a female client on Sunday. The incident comes a week after a student reported she was raped by an unknown cabbie.

The incident occurred at around 3:30 a.m. on the 1100 block of South University Avenue, according to AAPD Sgt. Mike Scherba. The woman told police that the driver touched her leg and kissed her before dropping her off.

The latest assault was reported Sunday evening. AAPD has not yet named the suspect, but describes him as a dark-skinned male with a light beard, 29 to 35 years old.

The driver was employed by the Blue Cab taxi company, which declined to give any comment on the incident. Blue Cab’s website states that its cabs are operated by independently contracted drivers, but all taxi companies and drivers must be licensed with the city to be in accordance with Ann Arbor law. However, some cabs pick up passengers as fixed-rate limousines to avoid licensing fees.

University Police spokeswoman Diane Brown said AAPD officials confirmed to her that the woman attacked was not a student.

AAPD Sgt. Mike Scherba said investigators are working to determine whether the assault is related to previous incidents.

“Our investigators are looking into the (latest) incident and the possibility of it being linked to other incidents of the recent past."

On Feb. 3, a 21-year-old student reported that she was raped by a taxi driver in an off-campus parking lot on the 300 block of East Madison Street. The cab company was not named in that incident.

Brown added that a University Police crime alert was not emailed to the campus community because the crime did not occur on campus and does not involve sexual assault in its legal definition. Crime alerts are generally sent out when UMPD officials determine that a suspect or trend in crime poses a continuous threat to the University community.