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Posted on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:51 a.m.

Police: Another assault involving cab driver reported

By John Counts

Related: Police investigate alleged rape of U-M student

A 23-year-old woman has told Ann Arbor police that she was inappropriately touched by a taxi cab driver who took her home early Sunday morning.

The woman said she got into the cab in the 1200 block of South University Avenue around 3:25 a.m.

During the ride, the driver "touched her thigh and kissed her before he dropped her off at home," Ann Arbor police said in a release.

The cab driver was described as a dark-skinned male with a light beard, 29 to 35 years old with a thin build, about 5 foot 5 inches.

The cab was described as a Blue Cab minivan, according to police. The Blue Cab company did not have a comment about the incident.

The University of Michigan Police Department could not confirm whether the woman was a student or not Monday morning. If she is, the woman will be the second student to report an assault by a taxi cab driver in the last month.

The previous incident was reported in the same block of South University at roughly the same time, in the early hours of Sunday, Feb. 3. The woman said the alleged rape took place in a parking lot near the 300 block of East Madison Avenue, near Packard Street.

The Ann Arbor Police Department's Detective Bureau is investigating. Anyone with information on either 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).

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



Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:32 p.m.

Self regulation in the local taxi industry is untenable. It is the City's responsibility to regulate and oversee the local, for-hire passenger transportation industry. Likewise, it is the City's responsibility to enforce its own regulations both consistently and rigorously. The City of Ann Arbor has failed miserably at enforcement despite having done a credible job at regulation. These recent sexual assaults illustrate both how and why the City has failed our community but also how, to some extent, regulation has succeeded. The first incident involved, allegedly, an unmarked, unregulated taxi while the second involved, again allegedly, a regulated, marked taxi. The victim in the second incident knew that she was assaulted by a Blue Cab driver while the victim in the first incident has, at least according to the reporting, no clue which company picked her up. The City requires of licensed taxis that the company's name and a vehicle number be affixed permanently to the cab while there are no such regulations for limos. Though these regulations do not ensure that absolute passenger safety, they do help signal to the public that what they are hiring is indeed a taxi and help ensure that if there is a problem, passengers will have some very specific information about which vehicle that they were in, which company they took, and who to call if there is a problem. So, the City's regulations may help in the identification of the 2nd attacker. However, in the City had been rigorously enforcing its taxi regulations all along, the first attack may not have happened, at best, or the perpetrator would be more easily identified, at least. Ultimately, we cannot allow passenger transportation companies to regulate themselves, and these recent sexual assaults illustrate why. These incidents are a call to the City to do its job: either to enforce the existing taxi regulations or write new ones that are better and enforce those as well. We're waiting.

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

As a footnote to this wonderfull conversation we are having I happen to be very well informed when it comes to matters in this industry and I'm here to tell you the path the city of ann arbor has taken is about to land the city in a class action lawsuit as the defendant due to people thinking that they can run over other peoples rights such as you do.

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 11:16 a.m.

Also being a class b limo owner or operator is NOT breaking the law as you say. On the contrary it is 100% in accordance to the law not on a city level but rather on a state level. And also in addition you keep bringing up detroit but the fact is detroits legal ability to regulate limos is also now no longer applicable due to the fact that the population there is now officially around 722,000 which puts it under the limit as well. Cheers

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 10:36 a.m.

From what you say here it appears you seem to be under the assumption that taxis and limos are a publuc utility. I am here to inform you that they are not. We can argue about this all day long but the facts are the facts and the law is the law. I .......nor you have the right to tell anyone how to run they're business or how to live they're lives for that matter. You're opinion appears to me to be that of a control freak. If it were myself who were a limo or taxi owner I would promptly feel motivated to tell anyone who felt motivatedto tell me how to run MY business what bridge they could take a flying leap off of. What it comes down to is if you want a taxi take a taxi. If you want a limo take a limo. You as the consumer should vote with you're dollar not you're political beliefs. An d the last time I checked despite the fact that we have a marxist socialist neophyte for president we still live in a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC. Cheers


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:47 a.m.

Moreover, I don't think the authors of the legislation envisioned the kind of scenario that we have in Ann Arbor: a scenario in which in order to save a few bucks on insurance, taxi meters, decals, city taxi licensing, background checks, etc. and in addition to these savings eschew the "oppressive" nature of taxi regulations such as limits on fares (which keep taxi service affordable for low income consumers), operational hours' requirements, vehicle age limits, etc. a bunch of people, many of whom do not even live in the area, decided to opt for limo rather than cab licensing and troll campus and downtown, mostly only for a few hours per night, looking for business. After having worked in the taxi industry for over a decade, I have witnessed many things change and the biggest change in the past 7 years or so is that the streets in front of the bars on the weekends are clogged with for-hire vehicles, some with decals that have the company name and number and others with merely a removable top light (presumably so that they can use the vehicle as their personal car without blight when they're not busy violating both law and common sense with respect to what a limo should like). Seriously, I do not shed a single tear for these people who have been violating the law merely to save a few bucks. Hopefully, this gravy train is over and those companies and individuals who have been respecting the local laws will be rewarded by the public and the city for their diligence in the face of temptation. There was a taxi industry in Ann Arbor before in influx of "limos" and clearly there will be one when these violators are gone. However, hopefully, the future of the Ann Arbor passenger transportation industry will be one that truly serves the needs of the community as a whole rather than those of a few individuals and large, for-profit companies.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 9:45 a.m.

@ Joslyn at the U The Act indeed makes the distinction between class A (7 passengers or more) and class B (7 or less passengers including the driver) limos and says that class B limos in cities of 750,000 or more must comply with local ordinances regarding for vehicles for hire. Thus, if class B limos violate the Detroit vehicle for hire ordinance, they are also violating the State statute. I have already made this observation elsewhere though less detailed. Let's say for argument's sake that you are correct: localities cannot have limo statutes dealing with class B limos except in the case of Detroit. Where, in the Limo Act, does it specifically bar localities from either having their own limo ordinance or fining limos from engaging in activities that are specifically barred in local ordinances regarding passenger transportation? I can't find any language in the act which addresses this specific question, and it seems that it would be critical to your argument for this prohibitive language to be there just from a rational observer's or non-expert's point of view. This does not mean that you are wrong, but it would seem that an explication of the sort of prohibitions that you believe exist in the statute would be necessary to make your case stronger. It is pretty clear from the Act, that localities cannot issue state limo licenses, but it is unclear as to how localities should deal with limos violating local ordinances.

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 12:55 a.m.

*next you're going to say

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 12:51 a.m.

Instructing or Saying "shall also comply" in reference to cities with a population of 750,000 or more also implies that class b limos are not required to comply with those of a population less than. Common sense. And not to be deragatory but if you think otherwise I believe you're ability in logical thinking is not up to par. Its a pretty simple observation in my opinion. Not complicated by any means. Laws are not meant to be confusing but rather draw lines between appropriate action and innappropriate action. The purpose of the limousine transportation act is basically this........if. you require a business to license with every municipality it may travel to , from, or travel through it would not only be cost prohibitive to the point of ridiculousness the ensuing individual municipality fare and licensing compliance nightmare would stop many communities from ever being able to be able to receive service and the lack enough business in one little city like ann arbor would eventually starve most companies into bankruptcy. Which would lead to more unemployment and on and on and on. But I suppose if people want to be little tyrants and tell other people they can't work you're ideals would be ok. But they are not. What I see from you and many in regards to this just downright oppresive. But then hey...............ann arbor is said to be 5 square miles surrounded by reality lol. . How dare people like myself or others think they have a right to run they're business that they soley own the way they want to. Nest your gonna say "they didn't build that" hahahahaha so funny its sad really


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:20 p.m.

@ Joslyn etc. Pointing to the limo statute as a source is a good idea, but I understand why there is confusion. I disagree with your interpretation of the statute and both obviously and in if true, the cities and their lawyers that you mention trying and failing at passing a limo ordinance disagree as well. Just because you talked to some lawyers or legislators that agree with you does not mean that they are correct in their interpretation. Indeed, lawyers, judges, or legislators are not infallible. Moreover, lawyers, in particular and as advocates, are not arbiters of legal interpretations and, thus, if hired or happen to be your friends, are supposed to tell you what you want to hear. At any rate, if more legal challenges arise, perhaps the Michigan Supreme Court could weigh in (I have not looked into whether they have, honestly). In any case, let's say for argument's sake that the city does not have the right to pass a limo ordinance. That does not mean that the city does not have the right to regulate and enforce its own passenger transportation industry. Even in my interpretation of the Limo Statute, the City does not have the right to take away your limo licensing, only Detroit has that right. However, I don't see in your interpretation, how the City does not have the right to regulate the passenger transportation industry and fine violators. Look, I have already detailed elsewhere why taxi regulation and enforcement is a local right and given reasons for why it is important as a practical matter. But, let's take an example which most people in the industry would understand and have little confusion about. Unless you are licensed to take non-prearranged fares at DTW, you have to have a manifest and you may not wait in line. If you are a taxi or a limo, not licensed by DTW, take a pick up, and get caught, you will get fined. However, to the best of my knowledge, the airport authorities do not have the right to take away your taxi or limo license.

Joslyn at the U

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

Oh I forgot one........Royal Oak Ok back to the discussion cheers

Joslyn at the U

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

Also I might add my opinion not only comes from what I have read but also from talking to two of the best transportation lawyers in the state of Michigan who happen to be involved in writing legislation on a daily basis. This being the case I stand fairly firm with what I have stated here. So please remember not to think that I have arrived at this conclusion without educating myself to the facts before hand. Lincoln Park tried this.......Melvindale tried this........Roseville tried this........Livonia tried this.............and they all lost. And if Ann Arbor pushes it they will get themselves sued and they will lose. Just sayin

Joslyn at the U

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

Meme what it says and I quote. 257.1907 sec.7 " A limo carrier of passengers that operates class B limousines for the purpose of picking up passengers within a city with a population of 750,000 or more SHALL ALSO COMPLY with the vehicle for ordinance of that city with respect to those limousines." Un quote. Also if you would like please reference the following..... 257.1903 (C) 257.1903 (E) 257.1903 (F) 257.1903 (I) 257.1903 (J) 257.1903 (K) Then go to ..... 257.1905 (G part 3) 257.1907 (sec7 part 3 sub section B) That tell me Ann Arbor in trying to write regulaions in regards to class b limos is way beyond out of line. There is no misinterpetation here whatsoever on my part unless I somehow do not understand plainly written english. I am assuming you didn't know these things and that this is just a simple misunderstanding on your part since you are obvioulsy. A person who seem just and intelligent. I look forward to your response


Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 10:51 p.m.

@Mark You wrote: "May [Common Sense] be damned and thrown under the rug to "protect" ourselves from (ourselves)." Yeah, basically. Taxi and limo companies are in the business of making money not protecting the public from their own ignorance, indeed, that is the government's responsibility. By your logic, all consumer protection regulation and enforcement is absurd. Obviously, I don't agree and most other people, thankfully, don't agree either. Think about how absurd your position is. Look, forget about taxis and limos for a minute, and consider this thought experiment. Let's say that there are regulations regarding the appearance of public safety authorities and their vehicles (i.e., the police). Now, do you think it would be important to have such regulations? I do. Why? Obviously, it would be important because the public should know to whom to turn when they have a problem and should also know whether or not the person citing them for violating the law has the authority to do so. If there were no regulations regarding the appearance of public safety authorities, could you imagine the problems that would cause? Indeed, if anyone could put a badge on or put a police lights on top of their cars, how would you know which one was legitimate? You wouldn't. Well, now consider the appearance of taxis and limos. Taxis and Limos have to look a certain way to signal to the public exactly what they are. If there are no standards, then how does the public ascertain which is legitimate and which is not? Likewise, these two sexual assaults, as I have argued again and again, punctuate my central point which is that we cannot leave it to the owners of for-hire transportation to decide which regulations to follow and which to eschew. Because of the lax enforcement of existing local statutes, anyone with a top light and a vehicle can troll the streets of Ann Arbor looking for victims. This is unacceptable.


Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

@ Joslyn at the U First, I've read both the AA Taxi Ordinance and the State Limo Act. With respect to the State Limo Act, your interpretation is mistaken. You parrot the same misunderstandings that I've heard over and over again from "limo" owner-operators but are nonetheless wrong. First, the Limo Act does not, I repeat, does not bar cities under 750,000 from having their own limo regulations. However, the act does expressly state that cities with populations of 750,000 may have their own insurance requirements and safety inspections and that if you violate the local limo statute (i.e., Detroit's, obviously) you, in turn, violate the state statue. Likewise, Sec 5 states that "this act shall not apply to a limo carrier of passengers that is any of the the following...(g) Only operating wholly within the boundaries of a local unit of government if the local unit of government has its own safety inspection and insurance requirements." Thus, as a practical matter, any city can have a limo ordinance but only violating the Detroit ordinance can possibly cost you your state license. Reading the statute as you have suggests, wrongly, that localities cannot exercise police powers (i.e., the power to protect the health, welfare, and safety) within their boundaries. Now, it is true that state law supersedes local law, but the state law, in this case, allows for localities to exercise their own police powers. As a practical matter think about how absurd your argument is. You're arguing that cities, townships, counties, etc. in the State of Michigan do not have the right to protect the health, welfare, and safety of their residents with respect to passenger transportation. You think that having a limo sticker somehow protects you from local ordinances and penalties. It does not. All having a limo sticker means is that you have the right to transport people for a fee in the State of Michigan and that you can't have that right taken away by all but one localit

Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 7:39 p.m.

One other thing I might add to this. It has come to my attention that city councilman and head of the taxi cab board of ann arbor is allegedly pushing this because he is goig to run for mayor. hmmmmm just an FYI for you kind people


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

memepolice states: " argument is simple: self regulation is unacceptable..." - Oh Dear God! May we cattle be lead yet further into the valley of our death by the "need" of more government regulations to remove the inalienable rights of humanity to "self regulate" ourselves. May [Common Sense] be damned and thrown under the rug to "protect" ourselves from (ourselves). A local company advertises itself using very clearly displayed signage, names, phone numbers and top-lights or not. Taxi and Limo. The color/type scheme of the vehicles (Yellow, Green, Blue, Amazing, taxi or limo) does NOT define the quality of service. If you do not trust the company history or the signage (or if none exists) - DO NOT GET IN! Common sense then prevails. OR are we all to be led brainlessly by the bureaucracies till the city is lead into its own self destruction, much like the large city to our east? (among other failed cities). You think the definitions of any ordinance would ultimately protect passengers? Nope. It failed for Blue Cab – a regulated AAPD background checked company. Per ordinance! No ordinance can prevent a deliberate harmful action! And Blue Cab was violated just as much as any passenger or ordinance violation had been. The other alleged attack has no public details to prove it was a taxi or limo, or any other type of car on the street. Much like someone using a car to entice a child off the street, an ordinance cannot prevent any deliberate action - Only common sense can! If you do not trust the company or vehicle signage - DO NOT GET IN! Hello?? Businesses thrive, or fail, based on public trust and demand. Bad service = no company. Use who you trust. Teach others who to trust. Period. Jeesh. Big10 University city with no brains for ourselves. Oi.

Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 9:45 a.m.

And one other thing. As I said before Ann Arbor politicians can't run they're own city. So the question becomes if they can't manage they're own town how in they're right minds can they presume to be able to dictate to the state what they can or can not do? Honest question albiet rhetorical lol Again cheers

Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 9:39 a.m.

And FYI when these honest hard working drivers are licensed to operate by MDOT as class B limos it allows them to operate by "any means or devices" . I suggest you people go read the limousine transportation act. And also it say in the said "act" that unless a city has a population of 750,000 or more that they can NOT write regulation in reference or regard to MDOT licensed limousine stickered vehicles. So my suggestion is Ann Arbor politicians worry about managing they're little hamlet and quit trying to rewrite state law. Plain and simple

Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 9:31 a.m.

I call it like I see it ...........plain and simple it or lump it (shrugs). Cheers


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:55 a.m.

To Joslyn at the U, my argument is simple: self regulation is unacceptable, we already have local regulations regarding the taxi industry, but the regulations are not being enforced, rigorously. Again these two incidents demonstrate where the City is lacking, enforcement, and where they have done a good job, regulation. So, no I did not trash the AAPD for not doing their jobs, explicitly. However, when I see a line of "limos" with toplights that say "for hire," which is expressly forbidden by local regulations, parked outside both Rick's and Scorekeepers while in full view of the local police, I would say that, yeah, the police are not doing their jobs by not handing out tickets to the violators and the question is: why not? But, it is, ultimately, the City that has to lead on this issue and so far they have not as the rape from the previous weekend illustrates. The AAPD has no problem handing out Blocking Traffic tickets to taxis and limos, so why can't they hand out tickets to "limos" with top lights, for example. Again, let me make this clear, the regulation of passenger transportation and its enforcement is a government responsibility and, yes, to make it more clear, the city, police, etc. are not doing their jobs on this matter, so to speak. To make it even more clear, I blame the rapists for the recent sexual assaults not the City or the AAPD if this further clarification helps.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:49 a.m.

@joslyn "Lol so let me make sure I understood what you said" You don't. " just trashed on the AAPD for supposedly not doing they're jobs? But you think your local politicians are the superheroes that are going to save us? Lol now that's to funny. " Where do you see any of what you just described? Memepolice didn't mention the police (except in his/her username!) at all. He/she said it is the city's responsibility to make and enforce regulations. I would take that as a remark directed at the City of Ann Arbor rather than the AAPD. "The AAPD is half the size it should be not to mention overworked and tasked with more than they can handle due to our duly elected superheroes (lol) finding it more of a priority to build a new city hall with that pretty lil 1.2 million dollar water fountain than keeping officers and firefighters on the payroll. The AAPD is to busy patrolling crosswalks for the city council and the mayor lol." So arguing that the city hasn't been enforcing its regulations and should start doing so is somehow both an attack on the police and a vote of confidence for the city, but claiming the cops are "to" busy patrolling crosswalks is... something other than an attack on the police? Or were you just looking for an excuse to bring the new city hall building into this somehow? Perhaps any criticism of the city that doesn't include copious use of terms like "LOL" and "superheroes" in scare quotes is too nuanced. "How sad people want to lay the blame on people who put they're lives on the line for all of us" How sad that commenters on this board don't have a basic grasp on how to read and understand arguments. "Also don't blame state licensed limo operators for something a city licensed taxi driver did." That never happened, either. How do you get that out of the argument that regulation keeps us safer?

Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

Also don't blame state licensed limo operators for something a city licensed taxi driver did. Very uncool and VERY UNJUST

Joslyn at the U

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:24 a.m.

Lol so let me make sure I understood what you said just trashed on the AAPD for supposedly not doing they're jobs? But you think your local politicians are the superheroes that are going to save us? Lol now that's to funny. The AAPD is half the size it should be not to mention overworked and tasked with more than they can handle due to our duly elected superheroes (lol) finding it more of a priority to build a new city hall with that pretty lil 1.2 million dollar water fountain than keeping officers and firefighters on the payroll. The AAPD is to busy patrolling crosswalks for the city council and the mayor lol. And the city can't run itself sooooo how are they going to regulate the transportation industry when they're begging UofM for money to provide us services that they are apparently to unconcerned with to properly budget for. Also don't blame the hard working officers in the AAPD for a problem caused by the CFO , city council, and mayor of our fine city. How sad people want to lay the blame on people who put they're lives on the line for all of us


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 5:55 p.m.

(3 of 3) It is severely unfortunate that anybody was attacked at all. But as witnessed in Detroit this week, criminals are even masquerading as Police Officers! As did perhaps the rapist last week, posing as a legit cab driver. Additionally, the West Coast is on a manhunt for a rogue murdering ex-Police Officer! A fake displayed taxi badge and a fake vehicle bond plate prove nothing for the reality of a driver in A2. It is unfortunate that Blue Cab had such a real driver fail their checks and trust. It is unfortunate the City had this sad issue within its borders. Most assuredly, as the lawlessness continues in that large city to the east, more safety awareness is needed for A2 passengers. Who to Trust? I am aware that Yellow Car has already installed interior cameras in about 1/3 of their cab fleet with more pending! They have continuous GPS tracking of their vehicles at all times (and such history has been supplied to the AAPD routinely). The drivers are highly qualified due to their contract with AATA and MDOT requirements. They have been around since the 1930's/40's. They maintain a business practice that excels in driver standards. AAPD and Blue Cab learned they had a wolf in sheep's clothing. Their trust was violated too. Even a thorough AAPD background check will not define the future state of mind of a determined criminal. No business/PD can ultimately stop that. But trusting the leaders and the ESTABLISHED taxi/limo companies (Yellow, Blue, Green, Amazing, etc) already in town DOES put the safety and trust back in the passengers' hands. If it isn't an established A2 company – DON'T GET IN! After that, common sense prevails. [the end]

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 6 p.m.

To MARK.......................BRAVO!!! Well said


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 5:48 p.m.

(2 of 3) The various previous taxi companies (not just one) that changed their certification to a state regulated limousine designation did so not to "avoid Ann Arbor regulations", but rather to compete with the changing gasoline prices that the city refused to accommodate as a standard business expense! This is a DRIVER expense folks! Not a company expense. The driver pays a relatively fixed lease to the host company. (Blue, Green, Yellow or whatever name you wish) The DRIVER has to pay for the gas expenses from the fares collected. And when the city refuses the driver to allow the regulated fare to cover the increased gas expenses it is the DRIVER who loses! Not the companies. Imagine, when the cost of gas increases a $1 a gallon (much like it did 4 months ago) that reduces the drivers' income by over $250 per month! Who can afford to lose $250 per month of income?? Can YOU? The companies that changed to 'limo' did so to help the DRIVERS survive the increased expenses that the city would not allow! This is an old issue and passenger safety has nothing to do with whether a vehicle carries the designation of a "taxi" or "limo". Both A2 taxi AND limo drivers have had a criminal background check. Drivers are random drug and alcohol tested. Drivers have their SoS driving records monitored. Drivers are MDOT and CPR/First Aid trained. Vehicles are mechanically certified, etc… (continued)


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

(1 of 3) The continual misinformed commentary about 'taxi' vs 'limo' is unfair to good honest hard-working drivers, both taxi AND limo, serving the Ann Arbor community. These drivers serve all of A2 citizens - from the drunk, vomiting, belligerent to the well mannered and classy generous clientele. Ann Arbor is as diverse as any city in the nation and the drivers deal with all of it daily. Blue Cab is a city regulated taxi company with AAPD background checks. The initial torrent of accusation was aimed toward the seemingly "rogue limo" companies for their supposed lack of certification with the city for background checks and an AAPD driver database as a cause for passenger attacks. This obviously accuses the non-taxi companies of being unsafe for supposedly not having background checks etc to qualify their own drivers as being suitable for the community. It is a well known fact that Yellow Car (previously Yellow Cab) and other now-'limo' companies in A2 do process their own internal criminal background checks, random drug and alcohol tests, MDOT required trainings, and Secretary of State Driver records to validate the qualifications for their drivers. And some at a higher level than does the AAPD. Why? Yellow Car has been the city's primary service provider for the AATA's A-Ride handicap service for numerous, numerous years. Blue Cab has been the service provider for the AATA's Holiday and Night Ride service also for numerous years. Their qualifications are not substandard! This is a testament to the trust and viability for BOTH types of companies (taxi vs limo) to be honorable and selective with their driver corps to a higher degree than most other transportation companies in other cities. [patience] (continued)


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 12:03 p.m.

Again, this discussion is getting away from what one perpetrator did to blaming all cab and limo drivers, and--in some cases--blaming victims for their choices of transportation. Either way, taking a cab/limo is going to be a higher percentage choice for safety than walking or driving when intoxicated (or even when not). And all this talk about whether something is licensed through the state or through the city and whether it comes from wherever is ignoring the fact that the number of assaults and the risk thereof becomes accelerated appreciably when some people's wishes for drivers to be punished or banished goes up, and someone then can no longer find a vehicle to hire.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 4:34 p.m.

yes it is rather annoying when whole segments of populations that have nothing to do with crimes are victimized also is it not?

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

I disagree, I think this some of type vendetta or sick joke initiated by a silly student. A2 cabbies (Yellow and Blue) are perhaps the most responsible cabbies out there, but even they have their fill sometimes of cleaning up and putting up with spoiled drunk students and will deny a fare.

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

I'm only talking about Blue or Yellow. So, before you get all high and mighty, re-read my post.

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 1:43 p.m.

Sorry to disagree . I agree as far as Yellow goes but not Blue Cab. As I said before My experience has been good with Yellow, Michigan Green Cab, Ann Arbor Cab, and Amazing Blue Taxi, but not so good with Blue Cab whatsoever

C.C. Ingersoll

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:51 a.m.

If you're having trouble understanding the difference between licensed cabs and out-of-town cabs with a 'limo' license, has an excellent article about it from two years ago:


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 6:36 a.m.

I think there's a misunderstanding here of one aspect of city v state licensing (taxis & cabs vs 'limos'). The city regulated cabs have DRIVERS who hold a city-issued taxi driver license and are thus on record with the city. Part of getting that license is presenting a criminal history record issued by the state police. State licensing for limos does not have such requirements - the drivers are not even on record with the city. I was told by one cab driver that one company switched from 'taxis' to 'limos' specifically to avoid the city regulations.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 10:48 p.m.

Diagbum, I'd love a state law that says anyone with a criminal record doesn't get a drivers license. There's no requirement for 'limo' drivers to have a criminal background check as there is for city taxi drivers.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:37 a.m.

Taxicabs are not allowed to cruise under City regulations. The out-of-town limos were cruising and taking away business from the local companies. That is why the local companies changed and are now licensed by the state as limos.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 6:57 a.m.

All drivers in Michigan are SUPPOSED to be licensed, but people DWLS in Ann Arbor every day to get to work. People get away with DUI/DWI/OUIL in Ann Arbor everyday too. Do we all need Ann Arbor city drivers licenses next?


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 6:24 a.m.

Any sexual predator could purchase a used Taxi or Police car at auction. Regulations are only as good as the enforcement of said regulations. If regulations are written in a way as to be unenforceable in a court of law the they are irrelevant. The city taxi board should refocus itself. Examine the rules and regulations that it can actually change and enforce. For example instead of trying to regulate the state licensed "limos", they could start by: Changing the "unique color scheme" requirements to a city standard, so that the public could easily identify "city of A2 TAXI"s... make them all yellow and use the same city mandated stencil (i.e. NYC), and "Top Light". Also the incentives to actually be a "Taxi" vs a "Limo" are non-existent, Ann Arbor DDA needs to reevaluate the "Taxi Stands" (Free parking for "Taxis"). Currently they are about useless, a left over relic from the "Radio dispatch" days before cell phones. They were designed to keep cabs handy about town, but out of the way of regular traffic/parking/business. Now the stands should be in front of local restaurants and bars. Why councilman Kunselman isn't calling for a voluntary "Limo chauffeur" registration program is beyond me, and really seems like common sense at this point.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:34 a.m.

You're right C.C. it would effect business. I was suggesting that having a uniform city standard for "A2 TAXI" and not requiring dozens of uniquely (randomly) painted vehicles would prevent the "limos" from camouflaging in with the locally licensed city "Taxis". Yes, people may prefer one company to another, but ALL "Taxis" should be behaving within the city taxi ordinance (i.e be safer) all ready anyways... right? I don't know why you think that Michigan Green Cab would be driving around in yellow "Green Cabs". They are a state licensed limousine company and cannot be regulated by the city of Ann Arbor, so I doubt they would repaint their entire fleet... Anyways that was just one suggestion the city taxi board could work on... Another could be mandating the installation of taxicab partition wIndows to protect drivers AND passengers in all city licensed taxis. These are examples of things that the taxi board CAN change.

C.C. Ingersoll

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:57 a.m.

There are 7+ licensed and 'official' cab companies in Ann Arbor. Suggesting that every taxi be painted the same color would effect their business in multiple ways, the least of not being that a person might prefer one company over another and have no way to tell the two apart at a glance. It'd also be pretty annoying for "Green Cab" of AA to drive around town in yellow taxi cars....

Joe Hood

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 5:01 a.m.

Here are some nice Yelp reviews on Ann Arbor Cab LLC: I've had to deal with this guy in traffic, it wasn't fun.

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 1:39 p.m.

I understand your perspective but I'm sure the other driver saw it differently and your experience driving is not that of a customer sitting in the rear of that persons vehicle. Just sayin

Joe Hood

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

Issue I had with the guy was that he honked at me because I would not block an intersection (traffic was not moving and he was in a hurry). I looked back and he gave me the finger. After the intersection, I let him pass then got his phone number and called him. He again told me off and hung up. I don't know what kind of business he runs by pushing people out of his way.

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 10:32 a.m.

Seems to me you get what you give out here most of the time in this thing we call life. Me personally I am looking for the good karma so I try and give the same. It has worked out pretty well so far :)

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:47 a.m.

LolFunny commentary but the fact is if you look at the reviews on google for ann arbor cab they are evenly mixed in comparison to yelp. I have also used ann arbor cab on occasion and have had nothing but good experiences. But I will say this.....there seems to be a different philosophy of business there. If they don't like you they will not service you and if your an entitlement minded rude type of individual I have seen them rufuse to do business with people like that. I think that is tooooo funny that there are still people who will refuse service to douschebags. And pretty refreshing lol. I wish I didn't have to deal with some of these rude people I come across in ann arbor on a bar night. Just saying


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 4:53 a.m.

Back in my day of working for a cab company- there were 2 Yellow & Veterans cab. Every driver met Ms. Northcross in person when getting their cab license-with photo and all attached, that had to be displayed in the cab. Now we have unregulated "Limos" allowing any one , regardless of criminal history, allowed to get behind the wheel and chauffer people around. Blue cab is as legitimate as you'll find among these, with a dispatcher that sends the cabs, keeps records and knows his drivers. There are 29, yes 29 unregulated limo vans. I imagine any student whether or not they "had a few" if they had to go back to the yellow pages to remember which of those 29 companies they called might have trouble recollecting it. Get these "Gypsy" rides off the road and leave it to Yellow & Blue if you want a safe ride!

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

diag bum is 100% correct on this . Great response diag


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 5:55 a.m.

Did you even read the article? "Get these "Gypsy" rides off the road and leave it to Yellow & Blue if you want a safe ride!" Seriously? A Blue Cab driver has been implicated in the alleged crime! Talk about hysteria... Give me a break!


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 4:41 a.m.

Can everyone please STOP... 1. Blaming the victims! My heart and prayers go out to them! 2. Stop using this racist terminology of "GYPSY". This is a racist word used against the Roma people who live all over the world. Try to use another word like "ROGUE CAB". Sheesh!!


Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

I stand by my comment. "Gypsy" is a racist term. Enough of!

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 5:24 p.m.

see now theres the problem with this argument thats ongoing here. Limo licensed vehicles are licensed as well as insured and actually have greater operating authority than locally licensed taxis. pure and simple. And the fact is the city of Ann Arbor can not legally make regulations to govern state licensed vehicles. The can try but in the end the city will lose.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

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

GYPSY CAB has nothing to do w romania (i have nothing against romanians,i love there gymnasts)its definition is a vehicle wich transports people for $+is not legally bonded licensed insured the town w transport occured.

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 5:15 a.m.

Nobody here has blamed a victim. Quite frankly, we don't know if there was a victim. We don't know much of anything yet. "Blame the victim" would be someone implying that a person deserved or asked to be assaulted. No one here has implied that. What many people have implied is "The evidence provided so far does not jive with our experiences of how cab rides take place and this event happens to coincide with another event that also does not jive with such experiences". That's a legitimate question which popped into the minds of many people. We are simply voicing those questions out loud. It's a sensitive issue for sure, but evidence that collaborates the claim is necessary before the person can be considered a victim and another considered a perpetrator. That's how the criminal and legal systems work. There were at least 3 false claims on the U of M campus in the past 12 months. So, criminal and legal systems aside, there is reason to proceed with caution.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 4:14 a.m.

Totally agree with Racerx comments, not real tough investigative work but then again, AAPD units are busy working crosswalk stings.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 4:38 a.m.

AAPD is doing their job to protect all citizens when it comes the enforcing the crosswalk law. I don't appreciate your sarcasm at all. I have crossed a A2 crosswalk and NO ONE STOPPED!


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 3:30 a.m.

Um, call in all the cab drivers working that night and see who fits the description.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 12:06 p.m.

And let me guess. After that, when we are all "called in" at 9:30 am after doing a shift that just ended a few hours earlier, we are guilty until proven innocent. Yeah------"call us all in".


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 3:28 a.m.

I'm not the least of a detective, however, if a certain driver for a certain cab co. has logged in that he is picking up a fare at a certain time to take said person to a certain location, isn't that information logged with the cab co.? This shouldn't be to hard to figure out. Why does the police need the public? As with the other reported case a week ago about the cabbie doing worst, track the phone number in the victim's cell phone and find out where, who, that number belongs to. This really shouldn't be that hard to find these guys. Or, is the AAPD really in need of assistance? That would tell me more about our police dept more than anything. By the way....was the rapist from last summer ever caught? If I recall the descriptions are kinda similar. A return?

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

To funny Rutrow lol


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

If we get hailed, there is no phone number and no way to track anything. Which I suppose will probably lead to the next logical step--a clamoring for cabs to be prohibited from picking up flags. Anything BUT finding the actual perpetrators. I suppose after that, a crusade to spot drivers who make illegal turns on red at 4 am will follow. Or drivers who say "bad words"sometimes.

C.C. Ingersoll

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:47 a.m.

Even regulated cabs don't have to 'register' with dispatch when doing solo pickups -- while they're employed by a cab company they're technically renting the cab for the night and are independent contractors for the evening. If they want to cruse S. University waiting at the bars to make an easy fare home from the students they just tell the dispatcher they're busy and can't take phoned in cab requests from the company at that time. The ONLY way to check where that cab was is to check the GPS (which nearly every company does to make sure no one steals their cars) However it's necessary to know which cab company (or out of town 'limo') it was before you can even begin to look into accessing that information.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:28 a.m.

There may be no cell phone call. She may have picked the cab up on the street.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 4:16 a.m.

Right on man, well said !


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 3:28 a.m.

I am rather discussed by the response of the City Council with regards to this issue. It is a complete fallacy to use the tragic assaults on these young women as a platform for enforcing taxi-cab legislation. What does the manner in which a taxi/cab is registered have to do with the assaults that are taking place, regardless of if the car is registered with the state the city or some other governing body the assaults still occurred and I think it is a terrible reflection of the true interests of the city, money. It is ironic the way in which things turned out, as noted by Kunselman, "The importance of a well-regulated taxi fleet is that we as a community know who the drivers are and that we're not getting into the car with a stranger," "Without that, we don't know who these drivers are. We don't know who these strangers are coming into our community, and I think it's time that we do something about it." According to a story from channel four, a student has identified the assaults as taking place in a blue cab, which to the best of my knowledge is registered with the city. So what again for the reason for these cabs registering through the city as opposed to registering with the State, which may I remind you, is legal. Other than the fact that the city doesn't get the money for the taxi licensees, I see no difference. I think it is time for a real response from the city, one that is relevant. As for the response by Kunselman, I am ashamed to be living in a city that supports this time of response for a tragic incident such as this from its city council. At least one truth has been revealed, if you want to know the truth, follow the money.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

usmc0844 - you see the obvious! Very well put.

C.C. Ingersoll

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:43 a.m.

This might help explain the situation a bit:


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 2:21 a.m.

What keeps going through my head each time I read about such sexual attacks as these is: I love my daughter as much as life itself. Of course, my heart goes out to the two (or three?) young women who've been attacked under similar circumstances. They are some other mens' daughters so I can guess what their feelings must be. Mostly, I want to add any bit of help I can offer. In this case it may seem silly but Ricebrnr's suggestion of carrying multi-function cell phones prompted me. The product category is "new", they're called "tactical flashlights." I got my first "tactical flashlight" early last December. After testing it (reference: "Streamlight Pro-tac 2L" at, I bought 2 more -1/each for daughter and her husband. [Other than as a customer, I have no connection with Amazon or Streamlight.] 180 advertised lumens. more than twice as bright as any 2 D-cell flashlight. Size: 0.9" diam. x 4.68" long. Battery life while on highest setting (there are 4 settings including "strobe.") is 2.5 hrs. Batteries: 2 ea. CR123 (any "123" designation). My own "field tests" impressed me: this is a very small flashlight, easily carried in a pocket. The light is actually blinding and can illuminate the side of a multi-story building from 100 ft. away. Space forbids saying much more than: as a "tactical surprise" this non-lethal "weapon" would be hard to beat in the circumstances described. I encourage everyone to look into "tactical flashlights" as a reasonable alternative to guns, knives, pepper spray, etc. Particularly in view of the under-21 age restrictions on guns, tasers, etc.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:49 a.m.

@Ricebrnr: Couldn't let the compliment pass, once I noticed your post. Thanks, I've appreciated some of your posts as we go merrily along down Lane. ;-) As for the tactical light - I agree completely of course. It's a dandy little self defense item which gives new meaning to the phrase, "Let's light e'm up!" ho-ho. As I snuggle too close to age 70, I'm sorry to say I can no longer include striking techniques in my self defense "arsenal." That's why I see the tactical light as an advantage: it's beam alone can be intimidating and reveals a hidden threat before it (he or they) get too close. Those young women victims could have stopped those attacks, I believe, if they'd used this kind of light on those guys (or that guy). For me, it's just another advantage to have before I have to send my little 0.354" diameter hollow point friends to meet an attacker. I may be old but as my 40 year-old son in law will testify: I can still "teach Glock" with the best of them. Glocks 'r better than rocks, as Grandma use to say. Best wishes, stay safe out there.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

great minds think alike. I have that model flashlight as well. It's an optimal size for any number of kubuton, pressure point and striking techniques


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 1:07 a.m.

Cabs are clearly supposed to post the ID# of the cab driver, a photo with the name in large print, and the cab# in the front of the cab. All of this should be noted by any solo female getting into a cab at any time, and especially late at night. If the female needing a ride has been drinking, then it is not a good idea to ride in any taxi late at night solo. That's asking for trouble. Ride in the cab with another person who is sober.

C.C. Ingersoll

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:36 a.m.

True -- but not all drivers post it where you can actually see it. The last time I had to ask a driver for it he dug it out of his glove compartment. It's a law they have to have it displayed but it's not uncommon for it not to be; the law is practically unenforceable and the police don't have the time to pull over every cab they see, every day, just to check if they have their taxi license posted where a rider can see it.

A A Resident

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 12:22 a.m.

"I have taken a lot of cabs and never once did I check the license plate or even the name on the cab." Please start doing that, and also keep track of "chain of custody" on your beverages, if you are serious about being safe. I'm not saying it's right that these things need to be done, only that it's the way it is.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

I have taken a lot of cabs and never once did I check the license plate or even the name on the cab. I was once dumped into a cab by the bouncers at a bar after my drink was drugged (would you like copies of the official police report and hospital records as proof?). If it weren't for the grace of a decent driver who helped get me home and safe, god knows what could have happened. You assume so much of the victim and nothing of the perpetrator.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 1:10 a.m.

Of course you wouldn't, because the driver didn't touch your leg and then try to kiss you. Maybe if he had, you'd have caught the license plate number or the name on the side of the cab as it drove away. Anyways, do provide us with the official police report and hospital records. I wouldn't have asked had you not offered.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 11:27 p.m.

Blue Cab should probably make a statement soon for their own benefit. I work in a local Hotel where we give out a sheet of the Top 5 Cab companys we use. Blue Cab will not be on that list anymore until a statement is made, and frankly we'll be careful about suggesting a cab to singular female Guests entirely, until the issue has been resolved, for the safety of our Guests. Blue Cab, really any Cab company should recognise the impact that loosing the Hotels as clients will cause.


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

Let's call a spade a spade: This is totally ludicrous. This woman couldn't have been traumatized the guy allegedly "touched her leg." What was the name of the cab company on the side? What was the license plate number? I don't even want to hear about alcohol consumption here. If it was that significant, then anything this woman says is suspect and we certainly cannot pin a crime on anybody based on the nebulous description provided. I can't help but feel that there's some sort of smear campaign going on against cabs, or for cabs, or for who-knows-what in this city.

C.C. Ingersoll

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:32 a.m.

Also, remember that the police may have more information than they're telling us -- we will never have access to that information because it's all the police have to use in catching the assailant. They're not going to give that information to A^2.kom because in doing so they let the assailant know exactly what the police know about them. Crooks read stuff on the internet too. Don't judge an incident like this based on the news report. The police let AA.kom know about the incident to alert the general public of a menace. Don't disbelieve a story just because it doesn't pass your 'sniff test' -- there is a ton more information, that we will never be privy to, about this case. That doesn't mean the entire thing is some sort of made up conspiracy.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 4:36 a.m.

Stop blaming the victim!!!!!!


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 11:34 p.m.

It's not a spade.

Peter Eckstein

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 10 p.m.

Are all cabs in the city--licensed by the city or the state--required to have the driver's picture and name posted once to be visible in the front seat and once again to be visible in the back seat? If not, why not? If so, has the university emailed every student to refuse to enter a cab that does not post the driver's ID?

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.

was it an amazing blue cab or just a mediocre blue cab?

Joslyn at the U

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:30 p.m.

I seriously doubt it was an "Amazing Blue Cab" . The drivers are screened much better in my opinion at " Amazing Blue Taxi " than I think they are at BLUE CAB or at least thats been my experience. They are as reputable as Yellow Car in my opinion.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

attn. mousediva,nightride is blue cab


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

I've taken cabs in many places all over the country and frequently take them in Ann Arbor and I admit I'm wondering how this happens too. I dread posting this because I never, ever want to doubt a woman who says she was sexually assaulted but I also don't want to worry every time I get in a cab. I have never sat anywhere but the backseat and I can understand how a driver could touch a passenger's leg, but force a kiss? I'd just like someone to do some investigating and give us the whole picture so we women can know how to enable ourselves to be safer in a cab.

C.C. Ingersoll

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:38 a.m.

I guess a better phrase is "Freezes up" not "blanks out" -- sorry


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

I am not a cab driver or a cab company owner, but I am a little perturbed by the fact that your headline picture is clearly a cab that does not match the reported company. We have 2 incidents here; in 1 we know the cab company and in the other we aren't even sure if it is a 'cab'. Yet here is a company that has no known relation to either case being used to illustrate the article. Seems to be a poor decision to use that pic.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:16 a.m.

I agree. Very poor taste.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9 p.m.

Blue Cab is regulated by.the city .They do have meters.The"gypsy cabs" do not.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

Perhaps female passengers can utilize these services more instead: or this from a previous article.

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

We don't actually know if a representative of Blue Cab has done anything criminal. NightRide has been around for several decades and I've never heard of anyone being sexually assaulted on a NightRide. I would think that would decrease their chances of contracting with the AATA.

Joslyn at the U

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:18 p.m.

At this stage of the game I would beg to differ Mousedeva seeing as how the night ride program in Ann Arbor is serviced by BLUE CAB and if I am correct they are the company reffered to in the latest incident. I could be wrong so you might want to go back and read the article. Just sayin.......


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

I have taken cabs for the first time lately and find all drivers extremely friendly and congenial. I'm talking daylight. I sat in the back seat and for the life of me I can't figure out how the driver would be able to touch my leg, let alone a kiss. Not a chance! It was a stretch just to reach forward to give him the money. just sayin'

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

I don't see anyone, particularly Suzann, blaming the victim. Nobody is saying a person should expect to be sexually assaulted. We're trying to understand how the situation could have happened. Given the circumstances that most people ride in cabs under, there are certainly questions to be answered. Sensitivity to the nature of this situation is certainly in order. However, we can't go around accusing everyone of victim blaming or insensitivity for asking obvious questions.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

I saw no "victim blaming" Just questioning how this could happen.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

Your experience is unique to you and simply because you were not sexually assaulted when you were in a cab does not then mean that the survivor is at fault for any reason whatsoever. Needless victim blaming helps no one but the assailant in any situation of sexual or physical assault. Individuals should be able to sit in any seat in a cab, walk freely outside at any time of day, or wear whatever they choose without being assaulted.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:07 p.m.

I had been waiting for this "report" on one of Ann Arbor's newspapers. I first heard about it on WDIV last night as "another sexual assault at the University involving a student and a taxi." Nothing in the Detroit news, however, nor the Michigan Daily or until now. Some of these stories seem way out there. I know we all have to wait for "more details," but why is it that the ones provided make us all wonder "huh?"

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 6:33 p.m.

Before everyone starts freaking out about cab drivers, etc., lets wait a bit for some of these investigations to complete. Right now, there are a lot of unanswered questions about both situations. Also, nobody seems to know anything about the supposed third situation - which is weird considering the level of media in this town. I'm not speaking against using caution. We should always operate with caution when navigating the world. However, before we get panicked and angry, lets get some facts.

Rod Johnson

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 1:28 p.m.

The level of media in this town? Are you talking about this understaffed web-based travesty of a once mediocre newspaper? This is the most underserved city of this size I know.

Joslyn at the U

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

great Comment


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 7:39 p.m.

Good comments Jaime.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.

And it is the unlicensed cabs that are causing all the problems, right city council?? Last time I check blue cab was licensed by the city - i though these sorts of things happened in only in state licensed "limos"


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 2:11 a.m.

No, because most of the unlicensed cabs do not have anything more than a "taxi" sign on top of the car. They are usually run by out of towners who prey on UM Students after the bars on Thursday thru Sunday then charge whatever rate they feel like charging, even though they did not tell them before hand. Any company that picks up a person off the street is a taxi and MUST be licensed. Nobody ever said licensing prevents anything, but it surely makes finding culprits much easier.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

@johnny - The state limo/gyspys are licensed by the state too with the little yellow sticker in the left rear window. A small one off owner/operator of a metered cab is going to have the same anonymity problem as a small one off owner/operator of a state licensed limo. Similarly, if the attack were to have happened in a "Yellow Car" then all of the tracking and such that you talk about would work -- despite the fact that the Yellow Cars often operate as GYPSIES picking up people off the street and they are all state licensed "Limos" This case is no PROOF of anything why gypsies are bad -- in fact it suggests that it doesnt matter gypsies vs.'re still liable to get sexually assaulted either way!

Joslyn at the U

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.

Mr. Kunsleman, as chairman of the city's Taxicab Board in my humble opinion is grandstanding on this issue unjustifiably in order to further his control over the transportation industry and to make political gains off the backs of innocent people out here working every day who are honest and dedicated service industry folks who have a hard enough time paying thier bills without some mightier than thou politician trying to hand down mandates to flex his political muscle as well as improve his political position. Very uncool Mr. Kunsleman shame on you sir


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

So, since this was a licensed cab, we are all set? This citizen 'knows she has some recourse'? I guess in your world licensing prevents problems. Too bad it isn't really the case, as this event has proven.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 6:31 p.m.

Tell me, how likely you think it is to find the LICENSED taxi where this assault took place versus an unlicensed one? Licensing does not make everything perfect, but it surely allows the citizens to KNOW they have some recourse. I guess in your world licenses are bad, so we should not license doctors, driver's pilots, or anything. USER BEWARE. Give me a break, this case is PROOF positive why the "gypsy" cabs are bad and licensing is more important.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 4:44 p.m.

Too bad a license plate number was not obtained.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

or cab# i notice both incidents happened when cabs were salt covered coceled,camoflaged


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 4:40 p.m.

This is highly unnerving.

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 12:03 p.m.

Better walk everywhere.

J. Zarman

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 4:29 p.m.

I am usually impressed by City Council Member Stephen Kunselman's work, but not his time. Why has Mr. Kunsleman, as chairman of the city's Taxicab Board, not spoken to these troubling incidents?

Joslyn at the U

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:03 p.m.

I think that Mr. Kunsleman, as chairman of the city's Taxicab Board would be more wise with his choice of words rather than trying to unofficially declare "war" on limousine MDOT licensed vehicles and publicly naming "Yellow Car" and "Michigan Green Cab"as prime examples of people "skirting" the law. These are reputable companies that have no problem monitoring thier own drivers and are legally licensed by the state of Michigan to pick up and drop off anywhere in the state of Michigan unlike locally licensed companies such as BLUE CAB. Yellow Car also has been in business since i think the 1930s? They also have a enormous contract with the AATA for transporting A2s population if I am correct. Michigan Green Cab as well is extremely reputable. Mr. Kunsleman, as chairman of the city's Taxicab Board should also realize this borders on slander and could easily lead to the city being sued and cost us even more money that we dont have.

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

J. Zarman, because there is no verification of these incidents yet?

Basic Bob

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

Be careful or he might have all your cars towed.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 3:59 p.m.

Yellow cab it is for me then..

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

I like Yellow Car, Amazing Blue Taxi, Ann Arbor Cab, and Stadium Taxi

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.

Yellow Car - they haven't been Yellow Cab for a couple years (see: Ann Arbor cab licensing). However, I wouldn't start freaking out about cabs just yet. There are still a lot of details that need to be hashed out in terms of these accusations.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 3:53 p.m.

As a PSA to responsible and prepared citizens. When you put your friends in a cab, take a moment to very obviously note the Taxi License or License plate and driver name if possible. I used to do this whenever I put my friends in a cab back in NYC and none of them ever had a problem. In this day and age of camera or recording enabled cell phones (even most of the "dumb" ones) there is no excuse for not at least taking a snapshot of those items. You can do this for yourself as well (assuming you have all of your faculties of course). I guarantee any would-be cretins will think twice.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.

Ah I believe there is a slight disconnect in what I was trying to convey and the great thoughts you had. Think of mine as an ounce of prevention. If a predator knows that either someone outside of the cab has made note of his particulars OR that the person has left that info with someone else, then they are less likely to try something. I believe the thrust of your comments are along the lines of, you are in it, all attempts at prevention have failed and you must now act. Yes in those cases I firmly believe in multiple layers of defense in easily accessed places. A pen in a shirt pocket, a tactical flashlight In a pocket, OC spray in another pocket. I agree that in the middle of a defensive action is no time to deploy a phone. You must remain situationally aware enough to use it to before or after. You'll probably be way too busy during. Thanks for the compliments and back atcha. Be safe out there


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 1:22 a.m.

Ricebrnr: again, sincere thanks for another useful suggestion in the overall self-defense topic. As you've probably noticed, I've suggested (as a public info item) that people always carry a cell phone and I've remarked that I count that cell phones as a probable 1st or 2nd line of defense. On the matter of using the camera feature in cell phones, I've found it impractical to work through tiny screen "menus" while in a stressed state. My own personal choice was to add a small pocket camera. I have two actually: one is a Kodak Playsport (waterproof to shallow depths) and the other is the waterproof (and more robust) Canon Powershot D-10. Even so - that leaves low-light conditions which can defeat these dedicated photo & high def. video wonders. The other thing mitigating against cameras or cell phones is - the question of what happens if you're trying to use one when the potential (or actual) attacker is in close proximity. Respectfully, I point out that these points do give "an excuse" for not getting the information you mention: the specific nature, time & place of the attack is what determines whether someone who fears attack can get a snapshot of (or report) "those items" you mention. Third possible solution - possibly better - is to have one of the new tech high intensity "tactical flashlights." As you'll see in my own post on the subject, I think very highly of these new personal safety devices. Wondering what you think about them, your opinion is always welcome. :-)

Joslyn at the U

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Cinnibar thats to funny but sadly so true


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

These are the same students that cross the street without even a glance at traffic.

Joslyn at the U

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

very sensible

Atlas Shrugged

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

Interesting timing issues: WDIV reported this on-air during their 6 PM news cast yesterday (Sunday), and U of M still has not sent out their usual e-mail crime alert as of 10:30 AM today (Monday).


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

Maybe because of this: 'The University of Michigan Police Department could not confirm whether the woman was a student or not Monday morning.'


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

I was wondering the same....


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

I haven't has a reason to take a cab in years but I do remember that I sat in the back seat of the cab and not the front, always. I also paid before exiting the cab. I am wondering also how he had the opportunity to do this.

Martha Cojelona Gratis

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 3:12 p.m.

Unbelievable that this happened again so soon after the last.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:07 p.m.

Unbelievable appears to be the word.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

I'm trying to figure out how this happened. Not trying to be a smart-aleck, but how was the driver able to get to the victim to do this?

Rod Johnson

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

Not as publicized because it's much, much rarer.

Joslyn at the U

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

No offense but women can be predators as well, its just not as publicized

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

Cendra, get a life. Not all men are rapists.

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 1:14 a.m.

Cendra, scroll down. You'll see women having the same questions. Accusations and assumptions based on gender seem counterproductive.

Cendra Lynn

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 12:40 a.m.

You must be men to wonder. Opportunistic sexual predators let nothing stand in their way when they're coming after you. Speed and surprise usually gets them what they want. Most women have never fought nor taken martial arts or self-defense. As that cab is described: sitting ducks.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

Could it be she was over served? I know in my years of bar hopping I've never been turned down for a drink, even when I could barely walk.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

The minivans don't have any barriers installed. I end up taking them a lot more than the cars when i go around ann arbor and I usually sit in one of the bucket seats in the back when i'm going home by myself. The idea of sitting all the way in the back seams unnecessary cause I assume i'm safe by just being in the back. The seats aren't that far from the driver which is the how i imagine it happened.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:25 p.m.

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. I usually ride in the backseat when I take a cab, so the driver must've have a long reach.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

ClickonDetroit is reporting this as the third attack by cabbies in Ann Arbor in recent weeks---was the other one not a student, thus not reported or do they have it wrong?


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 4:40 p.m.

Thanks for looking into it, I was surprised hearing them repeatedly say three.

John Counts

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

I saw the same report and am not sure to which attack they are referring. I'm currently trying to make contact with AAPD to check on that, as well as trying to get more information about this most recent reported incident.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

it seems false charges have been levied upon our respectable gypsy cab community

Joslyn at the U

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 8:48 p.m.

its been my experience that when dealing with BLUE CAB versus other companies the drivers I have had from BLUE CAB in the past do not make me very comfortable as a woman late at night. Mr johnnya2 Im sorry but perception is 99% of reality. What peoiple percieve people believe. And quite frankly I would rather have a state licensed driver versus a locally licensed driver. Just my opinion but they appear to be more reputable when I have dealings with them. They yell me what my cost is up front mostly, are more willing to negotiate a price that seems fair to me, and to be honest the cars are more often than not nicer than the taxis I have been in. Just my opinion though


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

@jOhnny - from my experience the gypsy cabs most all have names on the side of them they all have license plates and state issued limo licenses. What you said could be as true for a small one off cab owner operator that isn't as easily recongnizable as a blue cab that is metered/city regulated The issue is here criminals driving the cabs much more than if they're metered or "limos"


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 6:27 p.m.

@ Notbecessary, Except a REGULATED cab that is a BLUE CAB will be much easier to track down which driver it was. How hard do you think it will be to track down which drivers were working when the assault took place, find those that meet the description and were driving a mini-van? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. While the so-called gypsy cab suspect is STILL at large and probably not going to be found anytime soon, because they were NOT licensed and there is not way to track them.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.

notnecessary-Thank you for clarifying.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

Diana - if im reading the comment correctly, Cornelius wasnt saying the woman referenced above made a false allegation in this story but rather that city council made a false allegation against the unlicensed cabs (gypsy cab is slang for unlicensed cab) in last weeks story because Blue Cab is a city regulated metered cab not a "gypsy" company. The implication by Council was that sexual assult happened last time was somehow related do to the lack of city regulation on those unlicensed (state limo) cabs but this incident just shows that city council was wrong and just using a crisis to try to expand their influence because in fact a sexual assault can happen in either city regulated cabs or the state licensed "limos".


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 4:28 p.m.

What makes you think these are false charges?