ST. PAUL (WCCO) — St. Paul Police arrested a 23-year-old taxi driver Wednesday for allegedly kidnapping and attempting to rape a passenger.
Abdikadir Mohamed is accused of attacking in 26-year-old woman as he drove her home early Sunday morning.
“This is a troubling, disturbing case,” said Andy Skoogman of the St. Paul police department.
Around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, the victim called a cab to pick her up from work in downtown St. Paul. Police say Mohamed used a common technique amongst taxi drivers.
“She ultimately did not call this cab company. She called a different cab. This guy was listening in and picked her up,” said Skoogman.
Police say the driver was Abdikadir Mohamed, a man not licensed to drive a taxi in St Paul.
The woman told police she asked if she could smoke in the cab and he said only if she moved to the front seat. After getting into the front of the cab, she said Mohamed started groping her and attempted to rape her. She said he physically stopped her from climbing into the backseat and locked the doors so she couldn’t get out of the vehicle.
She said she struggled with Mohamed and at one point, began punching him in the shoulder.
She told police Mohamed eventually pulled over and let her out about a block from her destination. After leaving the cab, she said she ran to a friend’s home.
“By all indications, she’s a very couragous woman,” said Skoogman.
Now, police are hoping others show the same courage. Skoogman said they have not ruled out the possibility that Mohamed has sexually assaulted other passengers. Police want any potential victims to call the Family and Sexual Violence Unit at 651-266-5660.
WCCO-TV tried to talk to the cab company that leased Mohamed his car, but they would not comment.
St. Paul Police said an easy way to tell if someone is a licensed taxi driver, they’ll have a sticker on the car and a placard inside the vehicle.
WCCO-TV’s Rachel Slavik Reports