LAS VEGAS – Police say a Las Vegas cabdriver went back to the customer he'd been accused of sexually assaulting while she was passed out and offered her money, flowers and apologies after surveillance video footage of the incident surfaced.
The driver, 25-year-old Abdul Based, was arrested Friday. He has declined media interviews, and his attorney, Benjamin Durham, didn't immediately respond to messages.
The incident happened March 6, but it wasn't known until the woman called Lucky Cab Company two days later looking for her cellphone.
The taxi company in its search tracked down which cab she had been in through her credit card charge. When Lucky Cab checked that car's video surveillance footage, they saw the woman sitting in the front, dozing off, and the driver repeatedly reaching over to touch her genitals, according to a police report made public Thursday.
The woman told police that she had been drinking at a nightclub at the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip when she got into a taxi to go home to suburban Henderson.
The video shows the driver fondling her while she's in the back seat, then pulling over on the highway to order her to sit in the front seat as she appears to snap in and out of consciousness. The assault continues on the rest of the 40-minute cab ride and for five minutes in the woman's driveway.
When Lucky Cab confronted Based, he reportedly blamed the victim then offered her money "to make it OK." The company said they fired him, checked all other relevant video and reported the incident to the taxi cab authority and police.
When officers arrested Based, he reportedly told investigators that he was sorry and that he shouldn't have done it because he's married.
The woman on the day police told her of the assault reported that she had threatened Based with a baseball bat after he showed up three times to her house apologizing with flowers.