Winnipeg taxi driver accused of extortion, dragging woman behind cab

A file photo of a Winnipeg Police cruiser. File/Global News

Winnipeg police say a taxi driver dragged a woman behind his cab after demanding she pay cash to get her misplaced cell phone out of his vehicle.

Police say an assault by a taxi driver in the St. John’s neighbourhood was reported around 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Read more: ‘Scared and in shock’: Winnipeg woman recalls terrifying cab experience

They say a 23-year-old woman told them she had left her phone in a taxi and the driver demanded cash before he would return it.

The woman said the driver took off when she tried to grab her phone back, dragging her behind the vehicle.

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The woman suffered minor injuries, police said in a release Thursday.

The cab driver, a 51-year-old man from Winnipeg, was arrested later Wednesday night.

Read more: Winnipeg man charged in ‘unprovoked violent attack’ that killed taxi driver

The driver has been charged with extortion, dangerous operation of a vehicle, and failing to exercise due care for a pedestrian under the Highway Traffic Act.

The suspect was released on an undertaking, police said.

Second cab driver to face charges this month

The charges mark the second time in less than two weeks that a Winnipeg cab driver has faced allegations of assaulting a female passenger.

Last week a 44-year-old male driver from Unicity Taxi was arrested on charges of forcible confinement and assault following an alleged incident involving a young Indigenous woman.

Read more: Winnipeg cabbie charged with assault, forcible confinement after incident with young woman

Serenity Morrisseau, 19, came forward with allegations against the driver in that case the week before the driver’s arrest.

Morrisseau said she was riding in the cab with friends when they felt unsafe. She said two of her friends got out of the cab, and so did the driver, who allegedly punched her in the face through an open window before getting back in the cab and driving off — with her still inside.

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Click to play video: 'Winnipeg cabbie charged with assault, forcible confinement after incident with young woman'
Winnipeg cabbie charged with assault, forcible confinement after incident with young woman

As the cab drove away, cellphone footage taken by Morrisseau’s friend captured the young woman screaming for help.

“I unlock the door. I kind of fell a little bit and my foot and I was just hanging outside of the cab. I could feel the burning on my feet coming from being dragged at like 30 kilometres an hour down Arlington,” Morrisseau said.

Read more: Winnipeg taxi driver attacked by passenger

A representative from Unicity Taxi told Global News the driver in the earlier case has been suspended since Oct. 1, pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

Winnipeg police didn’t say which cab company the latest driver to face charges works for.


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