WATCH ABOVE: CPS Insp. Mike Bossley issues a statement on the sexual assault on a woman, by a man she thought was a driver with a ride-sharing company.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected after the City of Calgary retracted its information on the number of active ride-share companies in Calgary.
Calgary police are looking for a man wanted in connection with a sexual assault, in which the victim was picked up by a man she believed to be a driver for a ride-sharing company.
“She was there to get a ride believing it was a legitimate ride. This was a predatorial act by an individual that thought they could take advantage of the situation,” said Insp. Mike Bossley at a media conference Thursday.
Investigators said the man approached a group of people outside a restaurant in the 300 block of 11 Ave S.W. Sunday, claiming to be a ride-share driver and asking if anyone needed a ride. A woman who had made arrangements with a ride-share company got into the vehicle.
Watch below: Police have no information suspect was with a legitimate ride-sharing company
Bossley told reporters there are 1,300 ride-share drivers registered with the City of Calgary, but would not identify the service the victim had initially called, stressing that the suspect was not the driver she called for.
There are seven licensed ride-sharing companies in the city of Calgary.
“I think that an important part of that is that you could pose as that ride-share one day and a different ride-share the next day. So, if we were to say the name of one specific ride-share company and it happened that this offender then used a different name the next day, it doesn’t really offer any level of safety or security,” Bossley said.
Police said the woman’s actual ride-share driver had arrived to pick her up, but left when she didn’t show up. Police said they don’t have any information to suggest that the man who did pick her up worked for a “legitimate” ride-sharing service.
Watch below: Police working to find out if sexual assault was a crime of opportunity
Recognize ths vehicle? Police believe its connected to an alleged sexual assault where the suspect identified himself as a ride-share driver pic.twitter.com/9gTepa36tI
— News Talk 770 (@NewsTalk770) March 9, 2017
Police said it was approximately a 25-minute drive to the woman’s home, at which point the driver insisted on walking the woman to her door.
“The man then made unwanted verbal comments before inappropriately touching the woman multiple times,” Bossley said Thursday.
The suspect is described as a man in his early 30s with a distinct accent. He was approximately five feet, 10-inches tall with a medium build, dark eyes and a clean haircut with no facial hair, wearing a black baseball hat. He was driving a navy blue, 2008-2010 Dodge Caravan with cloth seats.
Watch below: Calgary police say there are things you can do to verify a ride-share
Police are urging Calgarians to use the safety measures put in place by legitimate ride-share services, including technology that allows customers to track their driver.
“Yes it’s unmarked,” he said, referring to other legitimate ride-share service cars. “Although it does have a sticker and specific plate and you get a picture of the driver there to pick you up, so there’s a number of safety factors. I feel comfortable the safety factors are in place to allow for a safe ride if people choose to use them.”
Police are asking anyone with information to call the Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234 or contact Crime Stoppers.