Third woman in as many months alleges sexual assault while in Halifax cab
News that another young woman has allegedly been sexually assaulted by a Halifax taxi driver over the weekend has some saying it's time for more safety measures.
Halifax Regional Police responded to a report around 2:50 a.m. Saturday from a 20-year-old woman who said she had been touched in a sexual manner and kissed by a cab driver without her consent.
It’s the third report of its kind in as many months in the HRM.
“This is devastating,” says Dave Buffet, head of the Halifax Taxi Drivers Owners Association. “I'm actually at a loss for words. We want to provide a safe trip home.”
Buffet says the number of reports seems to be increasing, which is extremely frustrating for the industry.
Police say in each of the three cases this year, the alleged victims are young women who hailed a cab downtown.
“We're seeing for the perpetrators, they are in their 30s and they're described as Middle Eastern men,” says Lauren Leal of Halifax Regional Police.
In this most recent case, police have arrested a 44-year-old man from Halifax. He will appear in court in September to face charges of sexual assault. Police say his name will not be released until those charges have been sworn.
Police are now looking into whether this driver could be connected to other reported sexual assaults in May and June.
The man's taxi license has already been suspended, which is the fourth license suspended or revoked this year.
“He will not drive for any taxi company in the HRM ever again,” says Buffet.
While the news is disturbing, some say it won't stop them from getting in a taxi.
“When I was in university something similar happened to a friend of mine, so when I get into a cab I take note of the number,” says Halifax resident Robin Levy.
Police say that’s great advice for anyone. But HRM Deputy Mayor Matt Whitman says it's time to look at further safety measures.
“The frequency of them has gotten to the point where I think we really need to take a close look at the cameras in cabs to ensure the safety of our citizens,” says Whitman.
The Halifax Taxi Drivers Owners Association says they're fully supportive of that measure.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.