A First Nations women in Winnipeg says a cab ride she took on Sept. 25 ended with bruises and bleeding fingertips.
Serenity Morrisseau alleges that she was targeted and assaulted by the driver during her late hour ride.
The young woman and three friends entered the Unicity taxi at The Forks and headed home.
Morrisseau says that’s when things escalated between the girls and the cab driver.
She alleges the cab driver punched her in the head four times and attempted to abduct her.
“That’s when I grabbed his forehead and his eyes with my fingers,” Morrisseau said.
The announcement came today from the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) where Morrisseau, her mother Tracy Bone, grandmother, and friends told her story.
AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas sat next to the women in solidarity.
“It’s quite shocking that this is happening and continues to happen,” Dumas said.
According to CTV News in Winnipeg, there have been 15 allegations of sexual assault, indecent acts or suspicious circumstances made against taxi drivers between January 2015 and February 2021.
But Satwinder Shahi, general Manager of Unicity Taxi, there was an assault that took place that evening, but it was against his driver.
“The girl attacked the driver. He has bruises on his eyes, his whole t-shirt was ripped off,” he said. “So at that time the driver left the location and came back to the office.”
Shahi said his driver became scared alleging the three girls were drunk and aggressive towards him and in the altercation did not punch Morrisseau but pushed her head back with his hand.
According to Unicity, the camera was operating inside the cab and turned over the footage to police.
Shahi said the driver drove with off with Morrisseau after her friends got out of the cab, “to avoid the situation.”
“It’s more comfortable for him because two girls are already out of the taxi now, there is only one who is aggressive and drunk. He prefers to drive and drop her off 500 metres from there.”
Although Shahi said the driver was in distress, the emergency strobe light on top of the vehicle was not set off because the driver was too distracted to trigger it.
The Winnipeg Police Service confirms they are investigating the incident and said in an email both Morrisseau and the cab driver called 911 and reported an assault.