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Church Hill taxi ride gets creepy, maybe

UPDATE (4/30 8:10PM)

We take every customer complaint seriously, and respond as quickly as possible. We are currently cooperating with local law enforcement and media outlets.

We take extraordinary measures to ensure the safety and comfort of our customers. We are the first and only cab company in Richmond that utilizes closed-circuit cameras in every vehicle, including the vehicle in which the alleged assault occurred.

As soon as we became aware of this complaint, we reviewed the pertinent video. The video does not show the alleged assault. It does show that the cab driver picked up two passengers in violation of local law and company policy. As a result, his relationship with Napoleon Taxi has been terminated effective immediately.

The video also shows both passengers conversing amicably, discussing among other things where they work. The passenger who issued the complaint invited the second passenger to visit her at work.

This evening, after speaking to the complaining passenger, she retracted her allegation of assault and agreed to remove her Facebook post. In deference to local law enforcement and out of respect for both of our passengers, we cannot release the video at this time. However, if the complaining passenger agrees and law enforcement ok’s it, we will be happy to release the video in its entirety.

Jonathan S. Trainum and Christopher Brevard, Co-owners of Napoleon Taxi

ORIGINAL POST (4/30 4:09PM)

On Saturday night, I called Napoleon Taxi for a cab going from Church Hill to my home. The driver picked me up at 11:30 pm. He began to drive through Church Hill instead of my direction. I asked why there was a detour and he told me he would be picking up another passenger as the service was busy that evening. I expressed my concern over the additional stop. The driver ignored me and proceeded to pick up a man. The man did not give the driver a second address for the additional stop when he entered the cab. The new passenger then touched my leg – first with his hand, and then with his own leg. I was scared but couldn’t think of anything to do other than stay calm and hope the situation didn’t escalate. The driver stopped in front of my home and charged me for the entire fare.

I called Napoleon early Sunday morning and reported the incident. The dispatcher told me there was no record of my ride, so I gave her the phone number of the driver who picked me up. The dispatcher said a manager from Napoleon would contact me. This has not yet happened.

I decided to file a report with Richmond City Police. A strange man who touched me inappropriately now knows where I live. A local business gave him the opportunity and has compromised my safety and sense of security. The administrator who took the details for the report informed me that an officer will contact me, but not to expect any action as I had been drinking before calling the cab.

I’m shocked with the lack of response from Napoleon and Richmond City Police. Am I to believe the outcome of this is if I have drinks on a Saturday night and call a cab, I’m to blame when a stranger violates me while being driven to my front door?

I’m not looking for compensation; I WANT ANSWERS. Are cab drivers allowed to pick up additional passengers without your consent? How should I have handled the situation without jeopardizing my safety?

A similar event occurred this month in DC with much more significant consequences.

Richmond ladies – be cautious. Don’t use Napoleon Taxi.

I’m still waiting for those answers.

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