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Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Back issues
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Woman Blames Cabbie for Sexual Assault

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) - A woman claims she was "brutally sexually assaulted" after a cab driver stranded her in a dangerous neighborhood at 3:30 a.m. She claims the cabbie took her there to go to an ATM, though he had twice processed her debit card for the full fare.

The woman sued M&R Taxi Co. dba Arlington Blue Top Cab, and its driver, Demeke Aschenaki aka Tsidusew Aschenaki, in City Court.

She claims Aschenaki ran her card twice for the full fare, debiting her account for $39.90, but claimed the card wasn't working and demanded more. She says he refused to take the $18 in cash she had in her pocket, for the $19.95 fare.

Aschenaki demanded she go to an ATM, and took her "a significant distance from her home, in an area which was known ... to have a dangerously high crime rate and to be obviously and unreasonably dangerous to a young woman alone, at 3:30 a.m.," according to the complaint.

But the ATM was out of service, she says, and Aschenaki screamed at her, took the $18 she had in her pocket and dumped her there, ignoring her pleas to be taken back home.

"Despite being paid three times - twice by debit card and once by cash - defendant Aschenaki refused to return plaintiff ... to her home from which he had taken her, despite her repeated pleas to not abandon her alone on the street in a known highly dangerous, high crime area at 3:30 a.m., and with no means of safety and no alternate transport home," she says in her complaint.

She had to walk home, and encountered a man on the way who said he had a gun.

"The man threatened to shoot plaintiff ... then dragged her into a nearby parking garage, where he brutally sexually assaulted her," according to the complaint.

"Defendant Aschenaki, as a taxi cab operator trained by defendant Blue Top, knew or should have known that ejecting a young woman, such as plaintiff ... from a taxi cab along at 3:30 a.m. in a dangerous and unfamiliar high crime area, and without any money, means of transportation, protection, or shelter, presented an extreme and immediate risk to her health and safety," the complaint states.

She demands millions of dollars in damages and punitive damages, for negligence, negligent hiring, fraud, false imprisonment, infliction of emotional distress and medical expenses.

She is represented by Ronald Cox Jr. with McCarthy Wilson of Rockville, Md.

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