A cab driver who was previously accused of trapping a woman inside his car was arrested again on Thursday night for allegedly refusing to drive a Bronx woman to her home and instead driving her to Connecticut. An NYPD spokesperson said that he tried to confine the woman in the vehicle and sexually assault her.
Mohammad Khalek, 47, was arrested and charged with unlawful imprisonment Thursday night in connection with the April 6th incident. Khalek allegedly picked up a 27-year-old woman who asked to be taken to her Bronx home, but instead drove 40 miles to Norwalk, CT and refused to let her out of the car, police said. Law enforcement told the Daily News Khalek insisted he was taking his victim on a shortcut to her home, and that she didn't recognize the roads because she was new to the neighborhood.
Once in Norwalk, Khalek allegedly parked and got out of the car to open the victim's door, at which point she fled, the tabloid reports. The unidentified woman flagged down a passing car and was dropped off at a nearby CVS, where she was able to arrange a safe ride home.
Last July, Khalek was sanctioned by a city judge for calling a woman over to his cab, showing her a pornographic video, and propositioning her for sex in East Harlem. Following that incident, Khalek was fined $1,000; a judge also recommended he lose his Taxi and Limousine Commission license.
TLC spokesman Allan J. Fromberg confirmed in an email that Khalek's medallion license was indeed revoked in accordance with the ruling—however, Khalek continued to operate a cab under a for-hire vehicle license (FHV).
More recently, Khalek was arrested on robbery and imprisonment charges in January. In that incident, Khalek was accused of attempting to trap a 56-year-old woman inside his car, steal property from her, and later punching her in the face and throwing her to the ground in East Harlem. In that case, Khalek pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to complete a domestic violence program, according to the Manhattan D.A.
The FHV license that made it possible for Khalek to remain on the road was scheduled to be reviewed at a legally-required hearing on April 6th—the same day Khalek allegedly attempted to assault his victim in Connecticut. Fromberg told Gothamist that, in Khalek's absence, an inquest hearing was held and the TLC is awaiting a judge's decision on the revocation of his license. "In the meantime, Khalek’s license was suspended when we were notified of the arrest, pending the outcome of the criminal case," Fromberg said.