NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A city-wide search was underway Thursday for a taxi driver who allegedly raped a passenger who had passed out.
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reports, cabbies are working to help police solve the case.
“I really want him to be caught because the cab drivers are usually the best people in the world,” Abdoulaye Diallo said.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports: Police Said The Victim Was Drunk And Fell Asleep In The Cab
Longtime taxi driver Diallo is part of a cabbie crusade to catch the suspect in the police sketch. The unidentified driver is described by police as a monster that used his trusted position to allegedly sexually assault a woman in the back seat of his cab.
“It is a surprise for me, surprise for me,” cabbie Shiraz Rauf said.
The unidentified 26-year-old victim told police she hailed a yellow cab around 6a.m. Friday outside a nightclub in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
She told investigators she had been drinking, and she fell asleep for the trip home to Manhattan, but woke up to find herself still in Williamsburg, tied up and being sexually assaulted a few blocks from where she started.
She said the cabbie let her go after stealing $20 and her phone.
“In a cab, you’re trapped. They can lock the doors and everything,” said Sobie Baez of Bushwick.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission told Carlin it is fully cooperating with police and getting sketches posted at all city taxi garages.
Many people Carlin spoke with said after a night on the town they consider hailing a yellow taxi to be one of the safest things they can do to get themselves home unharmed, but they also said you still have to be aware of your surroundings inside or outside of a cab.
“Be on your guard no matter where you are,” said Mark Freedman of Williamsburg.
Cab driver records are being checked, so is surveillance footage, to pull in this mystery suspect from behind the wheel to behind bars.
Police said the suspect is in his mid-40s, 5-foot-8 and was last seen wearing an orange turban.
The victim was treated for injuries, including what police call “defensive wounds” to her hands and face as she tried to fight off her attacker.
Anyone with information in regards to this rape is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.
The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website or by texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
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