He Said, She Said

The setting/Downtown-Eastlake/Wed Oct 13, 5:00 am: At approximately 2:30 am, a middle-aged white woman visiting Seattle from Nashville, GA was picked up by a young black taxi driver on Union St and dropped off on Eastlake Ave E. Now, the accounts of this seemingly routine cab ride (which lasted 10 minutes and cost $10) conflict: The female passenger says one thing, while the male driver says another. Who is telling the truth?

Her Story

According to the woman from Georgia, when she got into the cab on Union, the driver asked if she had a nice evening. She responded that she indeed had a nice evening. Soon after, he began making comments of a sexual nature, which became blatant when they reached her apartment, and he asked if he could come up with her. The woman said no and then asked the driver how old he was. He told her he was 28 years old. She told him that she was 49 -- implying that she was old enough to be his mother. The cab driver then promised that if he went up with her, he would do anything she wanted -- implying that his youth would certainly satisfy all her mature needs. The woman then threatened to complain to the cab company about his unprofessional conduct. He told her, "Go ahead, I own the company." The woman got out of the cab and ran into her apartment, fearing for her safety. Once inside, she called the cab company to complain, but the dispatcher only laughed at her story. Later that night, she called the cops.

When Officer Michael Jongma arrived at her apartment, he asked for a description of the cab driver. She said he was "Pakistani, [with] olive skin, dark eyes, dark hair, 28 years old, with a mustache; spoke with an accent and was wearing a light-colored shirt." Officer Jongma then provided the woman from Georgia with an incident number and left.

His Story

The next day, when contacting the cab driver at his Shoreline home, Officer Jongma was told this story: When the cab driver first saw the woman on Union St, she was arguing with a man. She then got into his cab in a tizzy, and as he proceeded to the requested destination, she asked, in unstable tones, where he was from. He stated Ethiopia, East Africa. He then asked her if she had a nice evening. "It's none of your fucking business!" she barked back. The cab driver did not speak to her again. When they arrived at Eastlake, she said as she prepared to pay him, "Why don't you go back to your home, you motherfucking nigger!" He did not respond to her question, as she appeared to be very drunk. She then handed him a wad of cash. As he returned her change, she spat into his face and slammed the car door behind her. He then rolled down the window and yelled: "Fuck you!"

When reporting Officer Jongma asked if there had been any discussion of a sexual nature between the two, the cab driver whipped out a photo of a young and beautiful woman from his wallet and, proudly showing it to the Officer, said, "That is my girlfriend, now why would I go to some place else when I have her? And besides the woman was older, in her mid-50s, mid-40s." Indifferent to his evidence and lucid reasoning, Officer Jongma handed him an incident number and left.

The End

Though it is impossible to determine exactly what transpired in that cab on Wednesday morning, Police Beat favors the cab driver's account because: (1) the woman was from Georgia, and so it's believable that she'd call him a "motherfucking nigger"; (2) when Officer Jongma interviewed her she was drunk and admitted that she was on "medication"; (3) the cab driver did have a good-looking girlfriend; and (4) well, as I'm African, I've decided to take a Bob Marley stance on the whole matter and unite with my African brother!

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