“an adult female was sexually assaulted while inside of a taxi cab” in Cleveland Park over the Weekend

by Prince Of Petworth August 31, 2015 at 10:15 am 31 Comments

via google maps

From MPD:

“The Metropolitan Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect in connection with a Second Degree Sexual Assault that occurred in the area of the 3200 block of Highland Place, Northwest.

On Sunday, August 30, 2015, between the hours of 1:15 am and approximately 2:00 am, an adult female was sexually assaulted while inside of a taxi cab. The male suspect whose nationality is unknown was operating a red and black in color taxi cab.

Anyone who has information regarding this case should call police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, information may be submitted to the TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411.”

  • SomePeopleOnThisSiteSheesh

    Your move, Uber.

  • anon

    Take note, taxi-defenders, that if this were an Uber/Lyft driver, we’d know his name, personal info, vehicle info, and the route he took that night.
    Instead, with this guy, we have “unknown nationality” and “red and black taxi” (do they mean red and black, as in the city-wide standard colors?).

    • Dan

      City colors are Red + Silver. But I get your point – such a vague description – but then most people don’t pay attention to details on the best days. After a traumatic event I can’t say I blame them for not knowing.

      • zartan

        right, and the point is that if you called an Uber, all this information is recorded and easily available to you and the authorities.

        • Kingman Park

          They have to display their name and license in the car. Too late for this poor girl but people should take note of this when entering stranger’s car.

          • say what

            unless you ask the driver to turn on the interior light, you can’t read that information im a dark taxi. I have tried to take note of that the very few times I have had to use a taxi in the last year or so.

          • zartan

            ‘They have to display their name and license in the car.’
            LOL. This implies some sort of effective regulatory regime for taxis in DC. I can read the name and license of the taxi driver maybe 50% of the time when I street hail a cab here.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I’m going to go out on a limb and take a wild ass guess that a cabbie who is willing to commit a felony in his cab might selectively bend the rules with respect to other taxi regulations like displaying his ID, too.

          • Kingman Park

            I don’t doubt that but I never thought I’d be ridiculed so heavily for offering solutions to a problem everyone appears to identify and acknowledge, but offer no recourse.

          • anon

            There was a solution acknowledged from word one. Take Uber or Lyft. Let the taxis phase out of operation with some dignity. Don’t support any government official who want to prop them up with a handout (save for sensible regulation on ridesharing services, which I guess helps the taxis, but that’s okay).
            Be skeptical of anyone who wants to invest in tech to help the taxis compete. It won’t work. A single-market app will suck. Any successful value-add would be appropriated by Uber immediately.

          • People should still be able to hail a taxi on the street without fear that the cabbie is going to rip them off or assault them. The D.C. Taxicab Commission needs to come down a LOT harder on rogue cabbies.

          • Kingman Park

            I Would like to make you aware that Uber and Lyft drivers have been accused of sexual assault. There is ALWAYS an assumed risk of getting into a stranger’s car.

          • FridayGirl

            Textdoc, I agree.
            Kingman Park. I think the problem is that you’re missing the point. Of course there’s always a risk, but as anon said, a solution was in the first comment. And I’d counter that there’s also always a risk of sexual assalt if you’re a woman walking alone at night, or a woman taking public transportation that’s not heavily populated at night, or pretty much just EXISTING as a woman. Clearly you are a man. Don’t make this conversation more ridiculous than it already is. Do you think we don’t KNOW?!

          • Flash

            Fridaygirl and others. I think you’re also missing the point that Uber/Lyft are a solution but more of a bandaid solution. While Uber can help in terms of reporting, they cant necessarily prevent sexual assault. Which is the larger issue at hand here. So unfortunately, we do need to take more precautions because we cant account for everything going on outside of our control. And although yes many women are victims of assault, we can’t blanket the statement that only women are targets. Just a little food for thought.

          • FridayGirl

            Flash — “So unfortunately, we do need to take more precautions because we cant account for everything going on outside of our control.” That is literally what I just said. The point is, most people (men and women) KNOW we need to take precautions, but if things are happening outside of our control, there are only so many precautions we can take (aside from literally locking ourselves in our houses and not coming out). Kingman Park’s insistence that everyone take a photo of taxi driver’s ID, while a good idea, is just as much of a bandaid as taking Uber/Lyft — THAT’S what is irritating me.

          • PetCoHts

            Maybe the ridicule is rooted in your propensity to refer to an adult female as a poor girl. Your microaggressions are showing.

    • ah

      Don’t DC taxis now all have GPS tracking (spying) with the new meters?

      I realize Red and black sounds more like Red Top cab from Arlington.

  • anon

    Right, I was in no way victim-blaming. It would be rough to know the description. Maybe this cab really was red and black (and not standard red and silver) and the description is actually useful. But if this were an Uber, all she’d have to remember is her email address (or the email address of whoever hailed).

    • Kingman Park

      Only in America is being proactive considered victim blaming.

      • anon

        I think you’ve conflated “being proactive” with “admonishing a rape victim for not being proactive.” I’m not sure what the numbers are on this in the US vs. other countries. Doesn’t really matter. Noting the name and license number of a cab is a lot harder than remembering your email address, so Uber and Lyft win the “which transit option is less rapey?” competition.

        • textdoc

          Especially since sometimes cabbies keep the visor thing with their photo/license information pushed UP.

          • FridayGirl

            YES! I hate taking taxis for this reason. Is it me or is it often posted on the back of the seats in other cities/countries? I never understood why it’s so hard to see here…

        • Kingman Park

          Yeah I forgot that nobody has a camera phone in 2015. I’m not admonishing the victim but it seems that future victims don’t learn from past situations.

          • FridayGirl

            Kingman Park, why are you making a victim blaming argument out of a comment that wasn’t a problem to begin with? Unless I missed a comment that PoP deleted earlier… this seems really unnecessary. There’s no evidence to show that she did anything that would be blame-worthy aside from not having nightgoggles, it seems, based on your comment.

          • Anon X

            Are you honestly suggesting that everyone take a picture of the ID in every taxi that they get into? Somehow this is a substitute for taking uber?

            Just stop. You’re being absurd.

          • LittleBluePenguin

            I usually use Uber if I need a car to take me somewhere, but there have been times when a last-second change has come up or a taxi is easier to get than an Uber, and I do take a picture of the cabbie’s ID/medallion, because you just never know.

          • Caroline

            “Are you honestly suggesting that everyone take a picture of the ID in every taxi that they get into? Somehow this is a substitute for taking uber?”

            I actually used to do this, before Uber. When I first moved to DC, and didn’t know any better, I got in a cab without making a note of the driver’s information. The driver ended up taking me to a dark parking lot and sexually assaulting me. I ran away and he vanished into the night. I had no way of identifying him. After that I tried to boycott cabs, but on the rare occasion I had no other choice I either wrote down or photographed the driver’s info. Uber makes that so much easier.

    • Cass

      Red and black is standard for Red Top.

  • PetCoHts

    Tracking your driver is easier with Lyft/Uber, but neither have a great track record when it comes to responding to sexual assault committed by their drivers. Both also charge an extra safety fee to run background checks – which on one hand would be a small price to pay for safety if it actually worked, but on the other hand is them shifting a standard cost of doing business on to the consumer.

    .Cab service in DC is antiquated – accepting credit card payments became required just as people were shifting to mobile payments. Too many cabbies deny rides or refuse to accept cards without consequence. Not enough cars are accessible to people with disabilities. I rarely see the drivers information posted. The list goes on.

    .Lyft/uber offer alternatives to many of these problems, but are only a fraction of the solution when it comes to sexual assault. We should really be talking about how to get people to commit fewer sexual assaults. They are the ones doing something wrong; we should be correcting their behavior, not agonizing over every possible precaution.

    .The fact that every single woman I know – and I’m not being hyperbolic here – has been sexually touched in an unwanted way at least once, but more often multiple times, is the real problem. Teaching women all the tricks – don’t walk/cab/bike alone at night, don’t wear your hair in a pony tail or carry too many things, avoid eye contact, no headphones after dark, carry your keys in between your fingers, don’t forget pepper spray, and on, and on – hasn’t worked. Be aware of your surroundings is good advice, but don’t rape and/or touch people without permission/you are not entitled to women’s bodies is the real message we should be sending.


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