Police are investigating a report by a woman alleging she was assaulted by a taxi driver in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)

Woman alleges assault by Nanaimo taxi driver

Nanaimo Mounties investigating alleged assault of woman by Nanaimo taxi driver

Nanaimo RCMP officers are investigating a report that a woman was assaulted by a taxi driver.

According to police, the incident is alleged to have happened at about 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 25 at an undisclosed location in central Nanaimo.

The victim, who does not live in Nanaimo, reported the incident to a neighbouring RCMP detachment, which contacted Nanaimo RCMP.

In her statement to police, the victim said she was assaulted by a taxi driver when he diverted his taxi from her requested destination, then drove to a location and assaulted her. She managed to fend off the suspect and left the area unharmed.

The only description provided of the driver was that he had dark skin and facial hair. Police are continuing their investigation and are trying to identify the driver of the taxi.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said in a press release that taxis are generally “extremely safe,” but he advises people to follow a few safety tips before using any ride-sharing service.

“Anytime you get into a taxi or any other ride sharing car, you surrender a little control to another person. Thinking in advance of your personal safety is essential before and during your trip,” O’Brien said.

Police advise calling for a taxi, instead of hailing one roadside, to ensure there will be a recorded log of the trip. Other tips include taking a picture of the licence plate, taxi number and the driver’s taxi licence; avoiding getting into a cab alone if intoxicated; sitting in the back seat; keeping a cell phone handy; and never entering a cab if there is an unknown passenger already in the vehicle.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.

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