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Posted on Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

Ann Arbor police continue to investigate reported rape of U-M student

By Kyle Feldscher

Ann Arbor police continue to investigate the reported rape of a female University of Michigan student by a cab driver early Sunday.

Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said police are investigating the case as third-degree criminal sexual conduct, which involves penetration. Police have interviewed the victim and are expected to follow up with her in the near future after the case is turned over to the detective bureau.

Bush said the woman described the cab as a car but it’s unclear what company the cab came from and if it was a tax licensed by the city or a limousine service licensed by the state. The woman got in the cab alone at 2 a.m. Sunday in the 1200 block of South University Avenue and the alleged rape took place in a parking lot near the 300 block of East Madison Avenue, near Packard Street.

“We’re reminding people to travel in pairs, even if you’re taking a cab,” Bush said.

The woman was treated at the University of Michigan Hospital’s emergency room and police were sent there after the incident was reported, Bush said. The only available description of the driver describes him as a white man with short hair, possibly brown.

The city of Ann Arbor licenses more than 100 taxicabs and more than 200 taxi drivers, but there are many limousine companies allowed to impersonate cabs due to the Limousine Transportation Act. That law allowed any vehicle with a seating capacity of 15 or less to be classified as a limousine and is licensed through the Michigan Department of Transportation.

It’s unclear at this point what type of vehicle the woman got into and Bush said police are planning to interview her again to get more information.

“Licensing a taxicab goes out of clerk’s office, but we’re involved in records checks and coordinate a lot of it,” Bush said. “But, limos are different. They can be cars, minivans. That’s done by the state. She described it as a cab and a car.”

Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call the Ann Arbor police anonymous tip line at 734-794-6939 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP (773-2587).

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 6:18 a.m.

As a result of reading this article (in which the victim is unknown, the assailant is unknown and even the type of vehicle used in commission of a crime is unknown) I have developed what my doctor described as a shocking case of QMGS - Question Mark Gridlock Syndrome. For those few who may not know: QMGS is a disabling affliction which is triggered by massive influx of unanswered questions, when a person's brain is instantly flooded with question marks (with a sprinkling of exclamation marks). The there is a cure for QMSG but it involves a week of full-immersion therapy with,, and (and even There's hope: the QMGS Foundation has petitioned Congress for a bill aimed at reporters and "news" publishers who expose the public to this crippling affliction. The Bill is called: "The Never Write / Publish Stories Before At Least 50% Of The Questions Created Are Answered In The Same Article Bill." I urge all readers of this news website to call on your Congressional representatives pass this bill. Even if this bill is not passed, Sen. Dianne Feinkenstein has promised to include an anti-QMGS provision in her Omnibus Ban On Everything More Dangerous Than A Plastic Spoon legislation which President /Professor Barack Obama has lent his unqualified support to. We can fight QMSG on the grassroots level by recognizing the symptoms, which are: Catatonia, compulsively posting responses to suspect articles which indicate total ignorance of the topic on hand and, hearing your spouse say to you, 'Honey, you're gritting your teeth so hard that your teeth have shattered."

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

Tru2Blu- For the record, Paula's initial story on this incident came directly from the campus crime alert. I can understand your frustration with your questions on comments being deleted, that's something I have no control over and can't really speak to. I appreciate the discussion, I really do, and I hope you got a little more understanding into the thought process and investigative process here.

music to my ear

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 4:13 a.m.

2 am on the weekend, I assume she would have been drinking hence WHY she hail a cab.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:40 a.m.

@Kyle Feldscher, First, without any sarcasm, let me say that I appreciate that you took time to respond to my critique of your article. But I have to wonder why you spend most of your response "informing me" of the typical condition of the typical rape victim. I suppose I should take into account that the victim in this case isn't in any condition to explain why she couldn't tell police anything about the vehicle or the driver/alleged rapist. It's still a question - which will surely go unanswered because of the policy which mandates against posts even hinting at victim responsibility. In your own account & that of police: the victim was a female (UofM student) out alone at 2AM, she got into a vehicle she didn't recognize driven by a man she didn't recognize. And by your organization's strictly enforced policy: no one can say a word about the wisdom of such actions. So, yeah, Kyle, I protest the amount of "question marks" that are created here and in other stories on your site. Proof that the "don't blame the victim" policy seems to be making "progress" is reflected by comments criticizing police for advising UofM students to go about in pairs. Odd too that you tell me about the alert put out by U of M the day of the crime. I never said you "ignored" that alert - although you should admit that neither of the two articles published so far on this incident mention that alert. That you also tell me about the law mandating such alert issuances by colleges only brings up another question: why is it necessary for colleges to be forced by law to issue such alerts? The Clery Act is itself evidence that laxity and resistance to the idea of individual responsibility is part of "college level thinking." I didn't say you weren't doing your job. But it's interesting to me that you had a lengthy conversation w/ the victim and apparently never asked her if she'd been drinking before the incident.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

Having spoke at length with a rape victim yesterday, I'd like to help you understand a little bit about the very real difficulties in releasing every single last bit of information about an incident in the hours after it happens. Oftentimes, the victim of a crime is going through an immense amount of trauma, something that's impossible for us who are not involved to understand. Because of that, it's hard for them to clearly articulate exactly what happened to them and every single last bit of information the public wants. Fortunately, this is why we have detectives - to continue to investigate these incidents and figure out what happened and who the person is that is responsible. Now, your point might be that there should be zero information reported about this incident until that full investigation takes place. The University of Michigan sent out a crime alert to the entire student body, more than 40,000 people, on Sunday announcing that a sexual assault - rape in this case - occurred. They're required to do that because of the Clery Act. If they did what you are suggesting here, they would be violating that law and the consequences of that are extremely serious. To suggest that, as a news source, could simply ignore the fact that the University of Michigan - by way of the Ann Arbor police - are telling more than 40,000 people about an incident is to suggest we simply don't do our job. No, we might not have every answer at this point, and I understand that frustrates you, but the hours and days after a rape can be the most shocking period in a person's life. The victim needs time to be able to come to terms with what happened and then be able to articulate that to police, who then need to investigate. We'll follow up.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 6:02 a.m.

Dear Lieutenant Bush: While you may feel like you are helping the community (or even the victim) with your comments, telling people to travel in pairs as you respond to a sexual assault might be construed as victim blaming. I encourage you to direct your energy to providing the victim with the resources necessary to begin healing (there are many in the community) and save your travel recommendations for another venue. Imagine, for a moment, that you are speaking with her family. I hope and pray that you would not say, "Well, if she had only had someone with her..." Enough!

music to my ear

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

@tru2blu76 just to let you know Lt Bush is a female, and a very good caring police officer she always know what she is talking about, and you are right it takes a village to protect our youngans


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 6:49 a.m.

Re:"I encourage you to direct your energy to providing the victim with the resources necessary to begin healing (there are many in the community)..." Some thing we're doing all we can for such victims -who "for some reason" have been violated. Perhaps Lt. Bush, with his experience in law enforcement, has seen a connection between what the MANY victims (over the years) have been doing or not doing. D'ya think? Duh! Obviously, though, you're a leader in the Let's Do All We Can To Stop Violence by Ignoring Good Advice From Professionals movement. [Just speculating that your NOT working in Law Enforcement, Rape Prevention or Self Defense Training.]

Fresh Start

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 5:02 a.m.

I do not know what happened but to the extent it did; I owe my self some responsibility!


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 12:19 a.m.

When did Ann Arbor become so unsafe for women?

music to my ear

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 4:01 a.m.

welcome to the new world of opportunists its all around, humanness has changed, the internet and texting has detach some people from reality and compassion. it is google nation ,they want it and they want it now.and I am trying to be serious here. I really do believe that is part of our worlds issues in todays day and age.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 11:46 p.m.

It is all alleged at this point. Even the "victim" is an alleged victim. All too recently there have been cases where the story was fabricated.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

I think it is wholly unprofessional and completely disrespectful to ALL properly licensed drivers and companies for people in these forums to unfairly compare "taxi" vs. "limo" in a situation as terrible as this. Professional drivers and companies in both industries are licensed by their respective state/local jurisdiction and BOTH perform background checks etc and give valuable public service to the community. Neither is susceptible or liable to any type of deception of the public as a business practice. More to the point - the perpetrator is a FRAUD to both industries, pure and simple! And this fraud is no different than those who disguise themselves as law enforcement agents to gain a victims' trust. No true professional driver of either industry would jeopardize their job with an assault of this nature. So stop arguing about industry types. The victim was deliberately assaulted by a fraud. And may he pay for his crime. My prayers go out to the victim.

Silly Sally

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

Even if Ann Arbor ONLY had taxis, and no limos, a fake taxi could still pose as a legit taxi and do the crime. There needs to be a method for all, the public and especially a passing police officer to spot a fake. A "cab" should not be as easy as a light on top.

Basic Bob

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:09 a.m.

Thank you. The problem does not lie in the licensing, but this particular driver. With all the suspicions that it was a state-licensed limousine, it may not have been.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 10:04 p.m.

Very sad situation. My condolences to the victim. However, I'm wondering why she wouldn't have known what company the cab was from? Did she call a cab, or was it just sitting on S Univ? More details in this regard would be helpful. Most legit cab companies have pretty identifiable cars, Blue Cab, Yellow Cab, etc, but I don't know anything about limos. Very sorry to hear about this. I hope they find the perp and throw the book at him.

music to my ear

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 3:55 a.m.

there are reasons people call cabs if they are out for a nite of fun,perhaps during everything that happened she could not think straight, hopefully everything will come back to her in due time.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:18 p.m.

The Limousine Transportation Act - signed into law in December, 1990. I wonder if Democrat Jim Blanchard signed the act into law out of spite because he lost the election.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

This may well have been no legitimate taxi cab at all. Someone posing as a cab driver could easily get someone to their car under false pretenses. Concluding automatically it was a 'real' cab might be a bad assumption.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

How does she not know what taxi company she was riding with? Did she call the cab herself? Did she flag it down on the street? Did a friend call it? Was she intoxicated? Something is missing here. My condolences to the victim, she will never be the same. Poor girl. Now we aren't allowed to call and take a cab home alone? I've taken many cab rides home alone at night. Our society is so whack!


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

Keep in mind that the suspect could very easily have been a "limo" driver. To help keep yourself safe, use a respected and legitimate licensed taxi company. Check around on reputation (hotels, local residents, friends - ask who they use) Always know which company you are riding with - get a business card. Check for bond plates. If the vehicle doesn't have one, they are not a taxi licensed in Ann Arbor. Check for meters. Again, if there is not one, it is not a taxi. There are a lot of "limos" that operate in Ann Arbor, both licensed and NOT licensed with MDOT. And keep in mind that just because the article and description says "taxi driver" doesn't really mean it really and truly was a "taxi" driver.

music to my ear

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

good advice. but these young adults are more free and trusting them some of us older folks who may have gotten burned and learned a lesson, hers was awful so sorry for her. if she seen a vehicle that resemble a taxi, it was just horrible luck for her that an animal took advantage of her. now that this story comes to light young girls hopefully will be more cautious and your advice is good so as they know what to look for thank you not so PEST.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

Not much detail here. Did the woman or one of her friends call for the taxi? If so, what company did they call? Or did she just hail the cab on the street. or was it parked waiting for fares? How did she get away from him or did he simply tell her to get out? Taxi drivers put up with a lot from people they pick up and I hope they aren't all painted with the same brush after this. I hope she can find some peace and continue on with her life after this.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

Kyle, one sure way to differentiate between cabs and limousines is that limos don't have a meter and they usually have "limousine" written somewhere on the vehicle. (at least the ones who parody taxicabs do.)

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

pest - Just using slang there, actually. It honestly could have been either. I, for one, would have had no idea there was a difference unless I didn't know the law. And, there is no obvious way to differentiate between the two types of companies to the layman who is looking for a ride home at night/


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:03 p.m.

Kyle.... what makes you think it was a "cab" vs. a "limo"?

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

In my experiences with that particular area, it's very easy to just hail a cab as opposed to actually having to call one. Bush did not want to give out a lot of detail at this point and it seems as if there is a lot more information that has to come out in interviewing the victim. However, I think it's fair to assume it was a cab that was on the street. Again, that's just going off personal experience with that area.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

Din't the drivers have to have a photo on file with AAPD - they certainly did in the past ?

Silly Sally

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

Even if Ann Arbor ONLY had taxis, and no limos, a fake taxi could still pose as a legit taxi and do the crime. There needs to be a method for all, the public and especially a passing police officer to spot a fake. A cab should not be as easy as a light on top.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:46 p.m.

not if they are limousine drivers, which appear to be much like taxis only they are licensed by the state instead of the city. Read the article, please.

Martha Cojelona Gratis

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

This is very sad.

music to my ear

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

Be certain it is only a matter of time until this person accused is found .Even I in my old age would have never thought I would have to worry about a taxi driver doing this. I hope there was a camera someone near to pick up on any Evidence to capture, and punish him. I hope the young lady involved can heal, what an ordeal for her, and yes travel in pairs.

George K

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:07 p.m.

Heartfelt condolences to the victim. Why open these stories to comments, if you're just going to censor everything that doesn't include that?

Julie Baker

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:23 p.m.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone, but we don't want this thread to get off topic. You can email questions about moderation policies to

George K

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

Yeah, just censor the parts you don't like, not censor the whole thing **sarcasm** The first amendment doesn't apply here.

Jen Goodman

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

Moderators: can't you edit a post instead of removing the entire conversation? A discussion *about* victim-blaming is worthwhile.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

Who ever came up with the "Limousine Transportation Act?" Is this a new ordinance? Can Ann Arbor supersede the MTA with its own licensing where every driver is in a database? I can understand how easily someone could get in one of these non city licensed vehicles and have any number of crimes committed against them! This is a horrible crime against this young woman and made much harder to track down the perpetrator with this state act in effect.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

Thanks Diag. I had assumed that all cabs/limos were registered with the city.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:05 p.m.

The Michigan legislature came up with Limousine Transportation Act in 1990. Here is the actual law if you're interested ( No, City ordinances do not trump State laws. Ann Arbor could come up with a voluntary licensing program for limousine operators in the City. However virtually all of the transportation company's in Ann Arbor are already operating as limousines, and the last remaining taxi company's would most likely switch to the limousine business model if this were to happen. Crime can and does happen in all forms of transportation including bus terminals, train stations and at airports. Someone could just as easily become a victim of a crime in a "Taxi" as they could in a "Limousine". Statistically speaking the drivers of taxis and limos are much more likely to become crime victims than their passengers. Professional chauffeurs have the 10th most dangerous job in America ( I do agree this is a terrible crime and I hope that the perpetrator is caught and held accountable for his actions.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

Thank you for the update. This appears to be very serious - perhaps a follow-up article highlighting in detail the taxi/limousine laws/arrangements in this city is in order, so that others can be more aware of the situation.