A cab driver was arrested after police say he kidnapped and raped a passenger in Fort Lauderdale.
Max Raphael, 29, faces one count of kidnapping and one count of sexual battery in the Oct. 9 incident, Fort Lauderdale Police said Wednesday.
Raphael was arrested Tuesday and was being held without bond at the Broward County Jail early Wednesday, records showed. It was unknown whether he has an attorney.
According to police, the victim and her friend were picked up in the area of the 2400 block of East Sunrise Boulevard and were driven to an ATM near Northeast 3rd Avenue and Northeast 1st Street.
When the friend went to use the ATM, Raphael drove off with the victim and went to a parking lot in the area of Southeast 3rd Avenue and Southeast 4th Street, police said.
Once there, he forcefully removed the victim from the cab and sexually battered her, police said. He fled the scene in the cab, leaving the woman on the ground, police said.
Police said the victim was “battered and disheveled” when she walked towards a police cruiser around 3 a.m. and told them she had been raped by a yellow taxi driver. She was taken to the Nancy J. Cotterman Sexual Assault Treatment Center and a report from the BSO said DNA from a rape kit matched Rapahel.
NBC 6’s Sharon Lawson spoke with the president of Yellow Cab, John Camillo, who said, “Yellow Cab of Broward takes its passengers’ and the public’s safety very seriously and we have cooperated with the authorities.
Raphael is being held in the Broward County Jail on no bond. He is also no longer driving for Yellow Cab pending the outcome of an investigation.
Police are asking anyone with information about this incident or similar incidents to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.