Attacks on women hailing cabs prompts safety tips by police, transit company
After the recent attacks on two women trying to hail cabs in Boston, police and livery services trying to inform people how they can obtain a safe ride home at night.
“Do not get into unmarked taxi or livery vehicles,” Boston police said after publicizing information about the most recent attack.
Within the past two weeks, two women trying to hail cabs were sexually assaulted by the drivers. Both women were trying to hail taxis in Boston late at night, were offered rides by men driving unmarked sedans and were driven to secluded places where they were attacked, authorities said.
Boston police also urged people to use only licensed cabs or clearly identifiable livery service cars that are called to the location.
The alert and tips were also sent out by the Cambridge and Boston University police departments.
Uber, a mobile app company that specialize in on-demand transportation, also urged people not to get into any car that is not a clearly marked and licensed taxi or is not a pre-arranged transportation provider.
Uber said its technology allows users who request a sedan to see a driver photo, car type and license plate number before being picked up so that passengers can ensure they’re getting into the right car.
The first attack occurred Aug. 6 when a woman trying to hail a cab in the Seaport District at about 1:30 a.m. was picked up by a black Lincoln livery sedan and taken to a secluded area in Newton where she was raped. State police did not publicize the information until last week. Authorities released a sketch of that suspect on Sunday.
The second attack occurred at about 2 a.m. Sunday when a woman tried to hail a cab at Linden and Pratt streets in Brighton. She told police that a man driving a sedan stopped and offered her a ride to Cambridge. The car was not a licensed taxi, police said.
Instead of taking the woman to Cambridge, the driver took her to an area near Harvard University’s campus near the Boston/Cambridge line and sexually assaulted her.
Boston police said Monday that the attacks did not appear to be related, according to WCVB.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.