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Posted on Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 6:35 a.m.

Student tells police taxi driver sexually assaulted her near University of Michigan campus

By Paula Gardner

A University of Michigan student told police that she was sexually assaulted early Sunday by a taxi driver, according to a crime alert released by campus police.

The victim told police she took a cab at about 2 a.m. from the 1200 block of South University to her apartment in the 300 block of East Madison, near Packard.

According to the woman's statement, the cab driver took her to a parking lot near the apartment, where he sexually assaulted her.

The victim described the driver as a white man with brown hair, with no additional details available.

Ann Arbor police are investigating. Further details in the incident are expected to be released on Monday.

Anyone with information is asked to call U-M police at (734) 763-1131 or the Ann Arbor police department's tip line by email or calling (734) 794-6939.

U-M's Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center offers resources regarding sexual assault.

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Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 2:36 p.m.

Can't figure this out.... Did the driver crawl in the back seat? Can't the person in the back seat get out? Or was she passed out?

Chase Ingersoll

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

@Paula Gardner The U of M is compelled to report, the same way that Eastern was compelled to report. Further the police were compelled to report that a report was filed. But newspapers and experienced reporters, like those that at newspapers who employ former staffers, who practiced the craft when space was limited knew to look at an initial report and wait a few days for the investigation to add weight to or otherwise lean to contradict the initial allegation so that the public is not left to fill in the holes with speculation and hysteria.

Paula Gardner

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

Sorry, but I've never worked in a newsroom - including the Ann Arbor News or Detroit Free Press - where waiting a few days on this type of information (with this scope of dissemination) would have been tolerated. And it's not today. That's why was not the only news outlet to publish a story.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 10:36 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.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

It shouldn't be too hard for AAPD to investigate, how was the cab called for, check the phone records. Was the vehicle a Prius (Yellow cab, Green cab), a sedan (Lincoln or Crown Victoria, Yellow cab, Blue cab, most limos), or a minivan (Amazing blue taxi, Blue cab, many limos). All cabs in a2 have unique markings (Yellow, Blue, Green and White, Football motifs etc..), and some taxi drivers in a2 have their own fan sites (! The best way to catch a cab in a2 is to find a few drivers you like/trust/are reliable and get their personal cell phone #. Just call them directly and cut out the middleman altogether!


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

Maybe she just flag a cab down, maybe she was walking a cab pulled up aside her and she decided to hire it for a "safe" ride home. I've been walking at night and that is what cabs do, usually I just wave them by cause I'm too cheap, lol

Paula Gardner

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

@Chase, when U-M tells more than 40,000 students about this report via their campus-wide alerts, I'd consider it irresponsible to not report it.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

Well done. It should be reported.

Chase Ingersoll

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

When so few "facts" are available to print, such a story can only invite speculation. To print something so quickly rather than waiting for facts that will inevitably be available in possibly a matter of hours and most certainly in a few days, is frankly, irresponsible of the publisher as this does not serve the public information or interest but rather has the opposite effect. That the Michigan Daily would publish this is irresponsible on the part of their editors, but that it would be echo'd by Ann Arbor . com, should be embarrassing to everyone.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 1:29 a.m.

Chase, you're right, shame and embarrassment are called for, but you'll need to look in the mirror to understand who should be feeling them.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

Fact: a woman was sexually assaulted, and that had BETTER be news. It "invites speculation"? Who cares? Well, other than people who want to speculate here.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

Unless you're a woman who utilizes cab services. Then it's nice to know there might be an illegitimate cab picking up fares, and one of these fares has now indicated she was assaulted.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

P.S. your first clue to a LEGITIMATE taxi is the ann arbor bond plate on trunk lid(looks like a white licence plate w burr oak tree)+not a limo sticker afixxed w scotch tape!


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

Its possible. If it was a real taxi then the fleet manager would be able to ID the most likely suspects pretty quickly. More likely her "taxi" was really a "limo" service posing as a taxi or could have been a true predator in a look-alike or stolen vehicle. No description was provided among the other none information Yellow Car used to be Yellow Cab and but is no longer a regulated taxi service requiring police driver fingerprints and background checks. Some of these larger "limo" companies have a very high driver turnover rate which is how they stay in business - the driver gets what is left after the car lease/mileage is paid - which can mean little pay for a day's or night work and a lot of disgruntled newbies replaced by the next hopeful. The companies always make their money. Once a look-alike car is commandeered , however, any deceptive operator could scam the vulnerable kids who were "assuming" they are getting into just another safe NY or Chicago regulated cab - especially at night. Perhaps the UMPD could clue new students in about personal safety in their quaint little college town. Uh, vibrant City. If this female was in a bar area at closing time then she would likely be 21 and more astute right? There were previous reports of drivers black-mailing underage drinkers for more money or lying about ride/cleanup costs etc. So this debasement creep is not impossible and may actually be true. The AAPD are good at cracking these types of cases. This was a city event, so why were they not called in?


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

"Personal safety"? "More astute"? Are you really suggesting that she did something wrong by getting into a cab late at night? It is completely unreasonable to expect that anyone would think to question whether or not a cab is licensed by the city. I read every day and am very active in the community, and have never heard of this being a problem in the area. What you're doing is called victim blaming, and you are taking it to new levels. The only person to blame here is the rapist. Period.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

All I am saying is sometimes you can not trust anybody. Its sad you can not depend on a taxi service for a safe ride home, she was doing the "right thing" by not driving herself after drinking and not just hitching a ride from a stranger. I guess the cab driver is also a stranger..sad..I don't know what she could have done differently..well lets not get in to that, this crime should not have happen


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

And Paul, For corporations maybe that is true but for taxi drivers maybe not. The AAPD used to do background checks and whatever they consist of I do not know. I would think that wannabe criminals/psychos would want to avoid any exposure including the national law enforcement database and fingerprint files. FYI. The cross-coupling and "accidental loss" of financial/criminal/health/facebook/google/cell and driving records seems to happen quite regularly now whether or not there are any privacy laws in place. Don't believe the "security" hype (unless you are a suspect - then hey, don't worry about it).


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

Paul That is true, but would you rather ride in a vehicle with someone who has a clean background check or someone who isn't required to have one and that may very well be a convicted rapist, etc. Or a driver who doesn't even have proper licensing at all (gypsy). There are way too many gypsies operating in Ann Arbor.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

Obviously somebody needs reading glasses. The AAPD are now on the case.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

All background checks show is if the person has a record. The Sandy Hook shooter, the Batman shooter had a clean criminal record yet did the worst crimes you could think of.

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

Having checked with AAPD when I arrived at work this morning, I've been told there are no more details to immediately release. I'll follow up later today and see if there's more to put out there.

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

Thanks djm, working to confirm that now. CrimeMapping is usually reliable, but - in my experience - there can sometimes be mistakes made on those reports, so I want to make sure with police, especially on a case as serious as this.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

CSC Ist Degree -Penetration Penis/Vagina / 130005316 according to


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

This story struck me as odd the moment I read it in the Michigan Daily. There's more to this. The Michigan Daily said "rape," not "sexual assault."


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

Criminal sexual contact is how it's written in the law. Not Rape.

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 3:44 p.m.

GoNavy - I'm working to confirm this is a first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Originally, police just released that it was a "sexual assault," which is a much more generic term and has a wide range.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

This is the cover of today's Michigan Daily: In bold, it says "Police: Student Raped by Taxi Driver." What are the police saying? Rape, or sexual assault?

Paula Gardner

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

We do not have details on what the woman said happened beyond the "sexual assault" term used by U-M police. We try to use that generic term until we know details - and tend to reserve the word "rape" for an incident when penetration occurred or was attempted.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

AAPD does not enforce taxi laws+allows gypsy cabs(limosenes)to run rampant on busy nights cars drive her from dearborn etc.+put a magnetic toplight on top+pick up flag amazed it took this long for this to happen.AAPD ENFORCE TAXI ORDININCES +quit harassing LEGITIMATE taxis.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

I agree with you. I often take cabs after major sporting events in Ann Arbor, and I am often surprised after getting in that it's really just a guy with a car - no meter or anything. I don't believe I've ever been overcharged and nothing bad has happened to me. But I have wondered if just anybody can throw a light/sign on top of their car and head out, that seems to make it quite convenient for a predator. I think going forward, instead of taking the first "cab" in line, I'll head to one with formal markings on it from an Ann Arbor company I recognize.