Winnipeg cab driver facing extortion, careless driving charges after woman dragged while trying to retrieve forgotten phone: police
A taxi driver has been charged after a Winnipeg woman said she was hurt while trying to retrieve her forgotten phone as the vehicle sped off while she clung onto an open passenger window from outside the vehicle.
The woman’s friend captured the incident on camera just after 9 a.m. Wednesday in the city’s North End.
Carrie Hill, 23, told CTV News Winnipeg on Wednesday she left her phone in the cab Tuesday night. When she reported it missing, she said the driver agreed to bring it back but requested money for returning the device.
Hill said the driver brought the phone to her on Wednesday morning but when she refused to pay, the driver sped off. Hill said she was outside the car, hanging on to the vehicle as it sped off.
“I saw my phone right in the centre console. And I saw my phone right there and I was like, ‘can you just hand me my phone and he’s like, 'no, give me money,’” Hill said. “And I was like, ‘I don’t have any money. I’m sorry but I see my phone right there.’ And he drove off.”
Hill reported the incident to the Winnipeg Police Service. On Thursday, the WPS said a 51-year-old taxi driver was arrested Wednesday night. The man is facing charges of extortion, dangerous operation of a vehicle, careless driving, and failing to exercise due care for a pedestrian. Police said the man has been released on an undertaking as set by the Criminal Code. The charges have not been proven in court.
Cell phone video of the incident, obtained by CTV Winnipeg, shows a person standing outside a Duffy’s Taxi, speaking through the passenger window before the car speeds off with the person hanging on to the vehicle.
Hill said she’s the one who was dragged by the taxi. She said she hung on to the car for about a block before the driver slowed down to make a turn and she let go, suffering scrapes in the process.
Duffy's said in a statement the driver has been suspended.
"We take very seriously issues related to passenger safety," the company said. "In addition to the suspension, we have put out a bulletin to all drivers to remind them of appropriate response and the need to ensure safe driving practises at all time no matter what the circumstances."
It is the second recent incident where a taxi driver was arrested and facing charges in Winnipeg. A 44-year-old cab driver was arrested and is facing charges of forcible confinement and assault for an incident where a 19-year-old was allegedly assaulted. The charges in that case have not been proven in court.