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Cabbie Arrested For Alleged Sex Attack of Female Passenger at Ocean St. Motel in Santa Cruz

The suspect allegedly used money from the victim's purse to rent a room.

A Santa Cruz cab driver was arrested last week for allegedly sexually assaulting an intoxicated 30-year-old Watsonville woman whom he picked up and drove to an Ocean Street motel, according to police.

Ahmed Ali Abdi, 53, of Live Oak, was arrested at 1 a.m. March 28 as he drove his cab on Winkle Avenue in the Live Oak area, the Santa Cruz Police Department reported today.

Information on the case was withheld due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, authorities said.

Abdi was driving a taxi when he picked up the victim as a fare in the 900 block of Pacific Avenue around 1 a.m. on Friday, March 28, police said.
  
The woman was extremely intoxicated, to the point of passing out, when Abdi reportedly drove her to a motel on the 100 block of Ocean, police said, adding that surveillance video shows him assisting her into a room.

Instead of contacting authorities for help with her inebriated state, police report that Abdi took money from the victim’s purse and rented the motel room.

The woman reportedly told officers she woke up later to find she was naked in bed and being fondled by Abdi, who was also naked.

She “blacked out,” and woke again at 4 a.m. Abdi was gone, and she reported the incident to the police.

When arrested on Winkle, Abdi allegedly had the motel room key in his possession, along with methamphetamine, police said.

He was arrested and booked into County Jail for suspicion of the sexual act and for being in violation of his probation stemming from previous drug violations.

Suspected kidnapping and burglary were later added to his charges.

In addition, Abdi was not properly permitted to be driving the cab for Santa Cruz Transportation, doing business as Yellow Cab, police said.

Taxicab driver permits are managed and issued by the police department. Each driver is required to be approved, and the permitting process includes a criminal history check by law enforcement.

Due to his criminal record, Abdi was denied three times in the past when applying for a permit, most recently in June 2013, police said.

Anyone with further information pertaining to the case or suspect, can call police or leave anonymous tips on the tip line (831) 420-5995, or use SCPD's mobile iPhone and Android App.
Carol Skolnick April 03, 2014 at 09:14 AM
Note to the reporter: this was not a "sexual act." This is an act of violence. Semantics perhaps but it is important in the case of non-consentual acts to call them what they are.
Pat Kittle April 03, 2014 at 01:46 PM
Immigration status?

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