Police investigating alleged assault in taxi cab

Denise Titian, November 28, 2017
Nanaimo, BC — 

A First Nations woman narrowly escaped a sexual assault allegedly committed by a taxi cab driver she flagged down in Nanaimo.

Sources say that the woman had been out with friends at a downtown Nanaimo nightclub when she became separated from them. She flagged down an unmarked taxi cab but when she gave the address she needed to go to, the cab driver drove off in the wrong direction.

The woman was taken to a secluded place where the taxi driver attempted to overpower her. She fought back and was eventually able to escape.

The Nanaimo RCMP confirmed that they are investigating the assault that’s alleged to have occurred last weekend. “It’s an active investigation and there is nothing further I can comment on that,” said RCMP media relations officer Constable Gary O’Brien.

In Dec. 2016 a Yellow Cab driver in Victoria was sentenced to six months in jail followed by three years’ probation after a March 2016 sexual assault conviction. The court decision was the result of an incident from February 2014, when an extremely intoxicated young woman entered a Yellow Cab driven by Baljinderjit Bhangu, 30.

According to reports, security cameras in the taxi recorded Bhangu sexually assaulting the unconscious woman.

It was later determined via a sex-offender risk assessment that Bhangu is at low risk to reoffend. He is permitted to drive taxi on the condition that he has properly operating cameras in the taxi; that he keeps the recorded images for six months and that he not drive taxi between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.