A cab driver working without a permit stands accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting one of his passengers, Santa Cruz police said today.
53-year-old Ahmed Ali Abdi (that's him in the picture above) was on the job at the Santa Cruz Yellow Cab Co. at 1 AM last Friday when he picked up a 30-year-old who was "extremely intoxicated to the point of passing out," Santa Cruz Deputy police Chief Steve Clark said.
As opposed to taking her to her destination, Abdi instead took her to a Santa Cruz motel, where he stole money from the woman's purse to pay for a room, Clark said. According to Clark, police even have surveillance video from the motel, which shows Abdi helping the stumbling woman to a room.
"The victim reported waking up later to find she was naked in bed with Mr. Abdi also naked in bed fondling her. The victim 'blacked out' at this point. The victim awoke around 4 AM to find Mr. Abdi had left the room and she reported the incident to the police," Clark said.
Police officers located Abdi as he sat in his cab. Clark says that Abdi still had the key to the motel room, as well as a quantity of meth in his possession.
Though Abdi was working for Santa Cruz Yellow Cab Co., he had been denied a cab permit by Santa Cruz police three times, most recently last June, due to his criminal history. It's unclear how or why he was driving for the company last week.
Abdi is presently being held in Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary and probation violations.