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Posted on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

Blue Cab president: Driver denies sexual assault allegations, will not drive cab during investigation

By Kyle Feldscher

The president of Blue Cab said the driver accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman on Sunday will not be allowed to drive his cab during the investigation and denies the allegations.


The driver of a Blue Cab accused of sexually assaulting a woman on Sunday will not be driving his vehicle while the case is investigated.

Courtesy of the city of Ann Arbor

John Etter released a statement Tuesday evening about the alleged sexual assault. He said a man called Blue Cab at 3:05 a.m. Sunday reporting one of the company’s drivers “was grabbing his girlfriend’s leg and trying to kiss her.”

Etter said the man provided a license plate number and the company verified the car was a Blue Cab.

“The independent lessee driver of the vehicle was a City-licensed taxi driver,” Etter said in the statement. “This licensing process involved both a criminal history check and a review of the driving records.”

Etter said the driver began leasing a cab from the company in late January. Blue Cab had not received any complaints about the driver before Sunday.

The driver denied the allegations, Etter said. He will not be allowed to lease a cab from the company while the case is being investigated.

According to police, a 23-year-old woman got into the cab in the 1200 block of South University Avenue early Sunday morning. Police said the man touched her thigh and kissed her before dropping her off at home.

Police are investigating at least one other alleged sexual assault by a taxi cab or limousine driver on a patron.

According to police, a female University of Michigan student was picked up in the same block of South University Avenue on Feb. 3. She was driven to a parking lot near her apartment in the 300 block of Madison Street. According to police, the driver raped her before she left the cab.

That incident is still under investigation by the Ann Arbor police detective bureau. No update on the case was available from Ann Arbor police Tuesday.

Media reports on Monday citing unnamed Ann Arbor police officials indicated a third sexual assault involving a taxi driver took place sometime in January. To this point, Ann Arbor police reached by have not confirmed that a third assault took place.

Etter said Blue Cab is concerned about the allegations and emphasized its commitment to its customers safety.

“The safety of our passengers is our highest priority,” he said. “Any complaints concerning our service are thoroughly and promptly investigated. We do not knowingly tolerate any abusive or inappropriate conduct on the part of the drivers who lease our vehicles.”

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


Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

One other thing I might add to this. It has come to my attention that the city councilman and head of the taxi cab board of ann arbor is pushing this as a limousine problem because he is allegedly going to run for mayor. hmmmmm just an FYI for you kind people. And to mr Kunselman you sir do not deserve to hold any political office if this is how you gain votes then sir you truly lack any real integrity.

Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

Nothing like having an easy scapegoat I suppose eh?


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

Something smells fishy here!!!

Bertha Venation

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

Did she get into the front seat or back seat? It seems if she was in the back side, it would be difficult for the driver to kiss her of he was in the driver's seat.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:35 p.m.

I'm with you Bertha. Very odd. Very odd.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

1. Whether or not the guy is guilty, did anyone expect him to admit to it??? 2. Could you publish a picture of this guy so if other female riders have had problems with him that they can report what he has tried?


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:39 p.m.

I don't believe he has been charged with an crime.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

Greg If other female riders have a problem with ANY driver they should report it. Not just a driver that has been accused of something.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

Sure, if they publish a picture of the girl so other cabbies can pass on that fare.

Jaime Magiera

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:01 p.m.

I noticed in one of the the WDIV articles that Lt. Bush is quoted as saying the woman said she moved up to the front seat after being offered a cigarette by the driver. A commentor in another of WDIV's articles, claiming knowledge of the situation, says that the woman was very drunk and had to be pulled from the car by the driver. This is all very fuzzy. Good luck to the police in determining the facts.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 12:22 a.m.

one of a2 zillions of taxi ordinances is NO SMOKING if the alleged assailant allegedely offered the alleged victim an alleged cigarette + they allegedly smoked alleged tobacco in an alleged taxi could they be allegedly charged with allegedly conspiriring to alleged the furtherence of agravated felonious tobacco smoking 2nd degree?


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:54 p.m.

Ypsi Russell: Taxi drivers can refuse to let anyone in their cabs. If it's a dispatched order, they need to be able to explain why to the dispatcher. "The person isn't done throwing up yet" is a good example.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:24 p.m.

Ypsi Russell - I imagine drunk people are the prime customer group of cab drivers.

Ypsi Russell

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:15 p.m.

Are cab drivers allowed to discriminate against drunk people? (I would.)

Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

Also blue cab has a rather colorfull history I will not go into.

Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

I'm not normal by any means and I speak from 25 years of experience dealing with some of these good people. So don't think I'm trashing on them as a whole because I'm not. I just try to see it from all sides. Fact is I know some taxi and class b limo drivers very well. And on top of that they are some of the best people I will ever know

Jaime Magiera

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

A cab is a normal work environment. Although it might be tempting to get all C.S.I. about this situation, it's not really appropriate. Cab drivers are generally good people. I haven't seen evidence that cab drivers are more likely to commit crimes than people in other industries.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

@Joslyn "many of these drivers are in the transportation industry because they have difficulty functioning in what others would consider a normal work environment" What kind of " normal " job do you have? Please give us a list of " normal " jobs.

Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

Lol I hear you :) my point is that taxi companies can be just as sketchy a any other company if not more so in my experience. And the fact is that more times than not employees or leasees in the taxi industry tend to rather transient so there is often high turn over. Also many of these drivers are in the transportation industry because they have difficulty functioning in what others would consider a normal work enviroment.

Jaime Magiera

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

You don't like Blue Cab, we get it :). The situation has really nothing to do with the licensing of taxis or drivers. The situation has to do with the actions of individuals. Someone with an absolute perfect driving and/or criminal record could still be guilty of a crime. Conversely, someone who maybe had a previous bad driving record and accusations of misconduct could be innocent of a crime

Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 11:45 a.m.

I believe taxis can be leased to anyone as long as they have no more than 6 points on they're driving record and no felonies for somewhere between two to 5 years? I may be wrong but I think that's it. As long as that's the case and they pay like 15 dollars to the city for a taxi license.

Jaime Magiera

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5 a.m.

It's nice to finally get more information. I walk past that spot several times a day and it's weird to being worrying about this situation. Thanks Kyle.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:41 a.m.

Ahh, finally the other side speaks. Very interesting - woman did not report this herself. Man is driving a licensed car that can easily be traced. Skepticism rises. Undoubtedly, we will learn more.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.

Before there are a lot of accusations hurled at Blue Cab, perhaps there should be a paragraph on how cabs are's not like these are BlueCab employees...I'm just sayin...


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:34 a.m.

I worked for Blue Cab in the late 1990's, and the John Etter that I remember would have terminated a drivers contract for ANY negative behavior that got his company written up in the old Ann Arbor News! Splash a reporter with muddy water from a puddle in the street and heads would have rolled... Let along get accused of (alleged) criminal sexual conduct!


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:45 a.m.

Perhaps you're right Cash. Honestly I hope you are, I would much rather read a news report about a girl making a false accusation than for a actual sexual assault to have occurred. I definitely will be following these reports closely...


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:10 a.m.

diagbum, Perhaps he has good reason for not terminating the man's contract. Stay tuned.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:30 a.m.

It doesn't's too late now....Blue Cab is having is name sullied and no amount of vindication will help them now. If the charges are actually false....and someone is lying....I would very much like to see criminal charges pressed.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

The plot thickens...."He said a man called Blue Cab at 3:05 a.m. Sunday reporting one of the company's drivers "was grabbing his girlfriend's leg and trying to kiss her." So the woman did not report this herself.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:55 p.m.

That's a huge logical leap. Just because her boyfriend called the cab company doesn't mean she didn't report the incident to police. It sounds like you're looking for a reason to believe this didn't happen.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:58 a.m.

AND , "Etter said the driver began leasing a cab from the company in late January. Blue Cab had not received any complaints about the driver before Sunday. So this guy was only working for just OVER a week, but he had a perfect work record (e.g. no complaints). Huh? A guy stays good for just over a week, BUT he is given a passing grade! Perhaps this guy knows the perp from the other unsolved reported sex assault from a couple weeks ago!


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:04 a.m.

Something isn't right here.