WATCH: Winnipeg woman’s terror run as she is dragged by taxi
A Winnipeg taxi driver who allegedly dragged a woman behind her cab as she tried to retrieve the cell phone she left there faces numerous charges, including extortion.
Carrie Hill, 23, left her phone in the cab Tuesday night and reported her missing. When the 51-year-old driver returned Wednesday morning, he reportedly demanded payment to return the device.
When Hill refused and tried to grab her phone, he sped off with her hanging from the passenger side of the vehicle, screaming for help.
Hill, who suffered scrapes and bruises, hung onto the vehicle for about a block before letting go when it slowed down to turn.
A friend filmed the incident on camera, showing a woman standing next to a Duffy cab talking to the driver.
“I saw my phone right in the center console, and I saw my phone right there and I was like ‘can you just give me the phone and he said’ no give me some money Hill told CTV News Winnipeg.
“And I was like, ‘I don’t have any money. I’m sorry, but I see my phone right there.
Hill called the Winnipeg Police Service. The taxi driver was arrested that night.
Winnipeg Police say the unidentified driver faces multiple charges including extortion, reckless driving, reckless driving and failing to exercise due care towards a pedestrian.
The charges have not been proven in court.
The taxi driver was released on his own contract, according to the Criminal Code.
The taxi company suspended him.
This is the second recent serious incident involving Indigenous women and charges against Winnipeg taxi drivers.
Calls for safe alternatives to taxis intensified after charges were laid on October 6 against a taxi driver for an incident on September 26.
Ikwe Safe Ride was started by four indigenous women in 2106 in response to numerous reports of taxi drivers behaving inappropriately and abusively.
The security alternative cannot meet transport demands.
“We hear stories like this all the time… we constantly hear stories of abuse and mistreatment from taxi drivers to women, indigenous women and all women,” said Ikwe’s co-director, Christine Brouzes,
Ikwe means woman in the Anishinaabemowin language.
On October 6, Winnipeg police charged a 44-year-old taxi driver with forcible confinement and assault involving a 19-year-old woman. The charges have not been proven in court.
Serenity Morrisseau alleges that she was assaulted while she and two friends were in a Unicity cab.
Morrisseau said the driver tried to convince them to go with another cab driver offering to take them to a party.
According to Morrisseau, she was uncomfortable, so she filmed the meeting.
She said the driver applied the brakes and stopped the cab. Her friends got out, but Morriseau said the cab driver got out and hit her through a window four times. He then climbed back into the driver’s seat and left with her suspended halfway as her feet burned from being dragged to the curb.
Morrisseau said she pushed her arms between the plastic shield and the ceiling, suffering from bruised arms and broken fingernails, to grab his eyes and forehead, forcing him to stop driving.
Witnesses came to her aid when the driver stopped and pulled her out of the cab.
Both the passenger and the taxi driver said they were assaulted and suffered visible injuries.
Satwinder Shani, chief executive of Unicity, claimed that the driver was the victim and suffered from eye bruises and that his shirt was torn in the first attack.
Shani claims the driver first stopped the cab and got out when an “aggressive and drunk” Morrisseau opened a beer and refused to wear a mask.
Police have audio and video from inside the cabin.
Hill and Morriseau are both aboriginal.
Meanwhile, in March 2020, taxi driver Balivir Toor, 44, was killed in what police described as a violent and unprovoked attack.
Okoth Obing, 20, has been charged with second degree murder for stabbing death.
Slobodian is the Manitoba Senior Columnist for the Western Standard