Woman allegedly assaulted by Philly cabbie

June 23, 2008 8:42:39 PM PDT
Philadelphia Police are trying to track down a cab driver who sexually assaulted a female passenger in the Wynnefield Heights section of Philadelphia. Many people consider cabs a safer alternative to walking home or public transportation. After a frightening incident on Conshohocken Avenue early Sunday morning, many women are questioning just how safe a cab really is.

Police say around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday a 23-year-old woman reported to police she got into a taxi at 200 South 11th Street. She gave the driver the address of her home and told him to take her there.

When the driver got close to her home he pulled over in the driveway of 3599 Conshohocken Avenue. Police say the woman reported that he got into the back seat and assaulted her. She told the police that the driver was groping her when she punched him in the face and got out the other side door and ran home.

Lauren Bolinger of Center City tells us, "When I used to live in South Philly I felt like it was the safest way to get home at night when I was up here in Center City or somewhere else in the city."

But we found that many women in the city are leery of getting into a cab alone at night.

Center City resident Colleen Woytas says, "I always kind of sit there with my hand on the door in case I have to jump out... and I always keep my keys in my hand."

Naheerah Camps of South Philadelphia tells Action News, "I just stay to myself in the back or I just stay on the phone because they know if you're on the phone they're less likely to bother you because they know where she is or she's in a cab."

Police need help finding the driver. They say he was operating a white taxi with a light on top. The driver is described as an Indian male in his mid 30's, dark tan complexion, about 5'9 in height, clean shaven with dark hair and wearing glasses.

Police say they are looking into the possibility that surveillance tape may have captured the driver and the cab he was driving. If you have any information you're asked to call police immediately.