Two women assaulted by fake taxi drivers in Boston

A woman told the Boston Police that she was sexually assaulted by a driver after she flagged down a vehicle at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. A similar attack was reported in Newton less than two weeks ago and the police had launched an investigation to see if the two incidents were related. Police say that both vehicles were not licensed Boston taxis.

Police sketch of the suspect.  Image via The Boston Globe/Twitter.

Police sketch of the suspect from August 6.
Image via The Boston Globe/Twitter.

The female victim claimed that she tried to hail a taxi near the cross of Linden and Pratt streets and a man who drove a black midsize sedan picked her up. According to her official description, he had a “middle complexion,” dark hair and “very crooked teeth.” The driver took her to a place near Harvard University campus in Cambridge, where she was sexually assaulted.

The incident on Sunday marks the second similar assault in Boston this month. On August 6, a man driving an unlicensed vehicle picked up a 21-year-old woman outside a bar at South Boston and took her a place near Newton, where he raped her. The police also released a sketch of the driver.

To avoid further attacks, Boston Police have given straightforward ways to distinguish licensed cabs from unlicensed vehicles:

  • All legal taxi drivers should have posted photo identification.
  • When hailing a cab, check its medallion, which indicates whether the driver has any criminal records.
  • The logo on the cab should be permanent and made of vinyl instead of a magnet on the side of the car.
Image via Getty Images.

Image via Getty Images.

While it may seem easy to distinguish a real taxi from a fake, it can be hard to tell whether those black Town Cars are safe. “Whether you’re hailing a cab or being picked up at a cab stand, it’s got to be a real taxi cab, licensed with a city,” said Alfred LaGasse, chief executive officer of the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association, according to The Boston Globe. Livery cabs, including black Town Cars, have no rights to board passengers who are waiting on the streets for taxis.

In order to avoid confusion, here are seven authorized cab associations in Boston:

Top Cab  281 Lee Burbank Way 
Revere, MA 02151 617-266-4800
Boston Cab Assoc.  60 Kilmarnock St.Boston, MA 02115 617-536-3200
I.T.O.A. Cab Assoc. 223 Albany St.Boston, MA 02118 617-825-4000
City Cab Assoc  275 Lee Burbank HwyRevere, MA 02151 617-536-5100
Metro Cab Assoc. 84 Braintree St.Allston, MA 02134 617-782-5500
Tunnel Taxi 10-12 Maverick Sq.East Boston, MA 02128 617-567-2700
617TaxiCab Inc   175 McClellan HwySuite 617East Boston, MA 02128 617-TAXI-CAB 
617-829-4222 
www.617taxicab.com

Featured image via Nicholas Erwin/Flickr.

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