Girl, 12, lied about being raped by taxi driver, city police say

May 23, 2007|By Richard Irwin and Annie Linskey | Richard Irwin and Annie Linskey,Sun Reporters

A 12-year-old girl who told authorities she had been raped Monday in a taxi, prompting police to stop cabs in some city neighborhoods, lied to create a cover for having sex with a teenage boy, a city police spokesman said last night.

Officer Troy Harris, the spokesman, said "charges were unlikely to be filed against the girl" and that the investigation is closed. The new information came from police interviews with the girl.

The girl had told police she was attacked in a yellow-colored taxi near Clifton Park in Northeast Baltimore, near Harford Road and East 32nd Street. She told officers she had hailed the cab.

City police then went on a search for the taxi. The only company that runs completely yellow taxis in the city is Yellow Cab, which also owns the yellow-colored Checker Cabs. The company has about 550 vehicles in the city, and most are privately owned.

"We were looking for a yellow cab as much as we were looking for an individual," Agent Donny Moses, another police spokesman, said before detectives realized the girl wasn't telling the truth.

Dwight Kines, general manager of Yellow and Checker Cab in Baltimore, said surrounding counties also run yellow-colored cabs. Kines said his company and drivers were cooperating with police.

Kines said drivers were made available to talk with police Monday night and that the company's drivers were eager for police to conclude their investigation, which "unfortunately reflects on the drivers," he said. He said he had not heard much from police yesterday.

Some cabdrivers interviewed yesterday expressed skepticism about the girl's story, noting they have identification badges prominently displayed.

"We have numbers," said Habtu Habteyes, who drives a Checker Cab. "How come she didn't get the cab number?" He slapped a large "25" emblazoned on the rear passenger side of the car.

annie.linskey@baltsun.com

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