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GW Safety Alert: Report of Attempted Sexual Assault by Taxi Driver

by Prince Of Petworth August 2, 2014 at 11:44 am 25 Comments

A reader passes on the following GW safety alert issued at 12:49am:

“Subject: GW Safety and Security Alert

Incident: Report of Sexual Assault – a female hailed a cab in Georgetown for a ride back to Foggy Bottom. She stated the driver pulled over in front of Tompkins Hall and attempted to have sex with her in the back seat. She was able to get out of the van and ran to a pedestrian who activated a blue light to notify campus police. The cab was described as a silver van with windows, last scene headed north bound on 23rd in the area of H St. NW

Suspect Description: Black male, in his 40s’ he was heavy set.

Location: Area of 23rd and H St. NW

Action: Report anyone driving a cab matching this description to GWPD or MPD. Call 202-994-6111 or 911

Status: The suspect has not been apprehended. Officers are searching the area at this time.”

  • Jaqen

    The entire system of street hailing taxis is outdated. It is unsafe for passangers and drivers. If this was an Uber the police would already know the driver’s identity.

  • AG

    I’m sure cabbies will just say this is just part of some out-of-control pr campaign to bring down the cab industry, but the fact of the matter is if this was uber, or even ubertaxi or Hailo which use DC cabs, the cops would already know the cab’s make and model, the license plate number, and have a name and picture of the driver. Oh, and the victim would have his cell phone number. I’d think they would also probably even be able to use GPS to track him down.

  • DCNative

    You’ve made good points about the advantages of Uber. Keep in mind though, that not all of us have smart phones. Not all of us have credit cards. And some of us don’t even have cell phones. So, while the current system may be “outdated” for those of us who rarely take cabs and use cash when we do — it’s good to have another option.
    Maybe instead of focusing just on cabs and the problems that women, especially, encounter using them, we should focus on the broader societal factors that underlie rape, sexual assault and violence.

    • Anon

      As a woman, I think it would be faster and more effective to sort out the taxi system in DC than focus on societal causes/factors of rape etc. Let’s face it, we’ve been studying societal factors for centuries or at least decades without eradicating our society of rapes. Tackling the taxi system has to be easier….

      • DCNative

        Well, also as a woman, I think we live in a society where rape is commonplace. So the small number of rapists who drive for Uber can now – possibly – be identified once they’ve assaulted someone who is brave enough to report it. That’s a meaningful thing to do. But I’d like to go further than that. So that those of us who walk and take trains and yes, hail cabs, can travel at least as safely as those who patronize Uber.

        • Anonymous

          Rapists drive for Uber? You have proof and records of the number of rapists currently driving for Uber!!!??? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!! Jesus, call the Post and let them know!

    • Anonymous

      Then get with the 21st century.

    • AG

      Nobody is advocating getting rid of taxis, just making them safer. We can do that while still working against rape culture.

  • Sparta

    Horrible as any assault is, and my thoughts and prayers go to the person assaulted, it’s understood sexual assault will happen at some point–whether taxis or Uber.

    So, how to choose which to use?


    There are some 5,700 taxis providing 18 million to 20 million rides each year in DC.
    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/31/us/politics/taking-their-message-to-policy-makers-in-transit.html

    Uber: Can’t find any numbers on rides (one of the big problems with private companies, unlike public. If anyone can find numbers, please add.) But it’s an extremely safe bet that the number of rides and Uber providers is no where near the number of cabs/cab rides per year in DC.

    So, presuming the same number of sexual assaults occur per year in Uber cars as in DC cabs, my bet is with the far, far lower risk of sexual assault in a DC cab.

    • Malcolm Gladwell


    • Jay

      This is so dumb that it might be trolling, I can’t really tell. Obviously “presuming the same number of sexual assaults occur per year in Uber cars as in DC cabs” is an absurd and innumerate thing to presume with no evidence, especially if there’s far less drivers/rides. There are less people who live in Columbia, Maryland than in DC. Do you presume the same number of muggings occur in both cities and that therefore DC has much lower risk of muggings?

      • anon


      • textdoc

        +1 to what Jay said.

    • Anonymous

      No wonder Sparta fell.

  • Anonymous

    This is news? It’s happened to me on two occasions.

    • Anon

      If this had really happened to you two times I would expect a little more compassion or outrage from you.

      • Anonymous

        I am outraged that this is so commonplace!

      • Anonymous

        Also, it’s nice of you to question whether this really happened to me. You sound just like the asshole cops I tried to report it to the first time (second time I didn’t even bother). Do you really think women go around making this a stuff up?

    • Anonymous

      Did the cab have windows both times??

  • Horrible, I’m so glad she’s safe, I hope the guy is caught soon – I have the same general reaction that I assume everyone else does.

    I’m also frustrated by the wording of the safety alert. I understand that the alert was probably written quickly, that perhaps GW didn’t want to accuse the driver of a specific crime, and that perhaps the alert was quoting the woman’s own words.

    Regardless, the man didn’t “attempt to have sex with her.” An attempt to have sex with a person is, for example, asking the person whether she wants to have sex with you. A taxi driver (yes, allegedly, I know) climbing into the back seat and trying to force an unwilling passenger to have sex with him is attempted rape. I know that the difference is semantic, but semantic issues like this one are symptoms of, and perpetuate, the archaic way that rape, other sexual assault, and attempts at them are treated in our society.

    • cohi89


  • Anonymous

    Could somebody please make a comment saying that none of this would have happened if she’d taken a pedicab instead of a two-ton death machine driven by a planet destroyer and anyway, if she can’t be alert and ready to protect herself she should just live in Chantilly? I’ve almost got a bingo.

  • John

    Sort of an odd story right? The driver drove her back to what I assume is her destination (as opposed to somewhere more remote)

    • Anonymous

      Jon, please clarify what you mean by an “odd story” before my blood pressure goes up even higher. I am hoping against hope that we are not starting to blame the victim here so please tell me that I am not misinterpreting your comment.

      Jess, I had the same thought that you did re the wording of the alert.

  • Anonymous

    Typo. I meant to say please tell me that I AM misinterpreting your comment.

    I couldn’t begin to say why that SOB did what he did. Impulse? What WAS he thinking?


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