Las Vegas, NV (KVVU) — A Las Vegas taxi driver accused of sexually assaulting a passed out female passenger said he felt remorse for what he did and even tried asking for forgiveness in person after it happened, according to police.
Las Vegas Metro police announced this week the arrest of Abdul Based, 25, on 11 counts of sexual assault. He was taken into custody on Friday, March 17.
According to an arrest report, Based’s employer, Lucky Cab Company, contacted the Nevada Taxicab Authority regarding video recorded inside his cab. The video shows Based touching a woman during a cab ride during the early morning of March 6.
The cab company became aware of the incident when the alleged victim said she left her phone in one of its cars. The company was able to track the exact vehicle since the woman paid with her credit card.
After viewing the video, Lucky Cab management confronted Based before suspending and later firing him, police stated. The taxicab authority then turned the video over to Metro’s Sex Crimes Division.
Detectives determined through the video and Based’s statements to Lucky Cab that the woman was picked up from the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino. In the report, Based told his manager that the woman was “obviously intoxicated” and that the woman “had been asking for it by telling him she was horny” when she was picked up.
Police documented Based’s interactions with the woman in the video that lasted 40 minutes. The arrest report describes the woman passing out in the back seat; Based touching her leg; Based telling her to climb into the front seat because the “police see her in the back”, to which she complies; and, Based reclining the woman’s seat and subsequently touching the woman several times. At one point, the woman appears to trying to move Based’s hand away. The cab fare ends when they arrive at her home and she pays for the fare without further escalation.
Detectives later interviewed the woman nine days after the incident. The arrest report states the woman was wearing a bathing suit and dress covering it during a “night swim” party at the Cosmopolitan’s nightclub. She admitted she was drinking and did not remember what happened after she left the Cosmopolitan.
The woman told police Based came to her home a couple of days after the ride at least three different times. When he was able to meet her in person, she said the taxi driver brought her flowers and told her he was fired while apologizing and asking for forgiveness. The woman said she didn’t know what the man was apologizing for. She eventually told him to leave and later threatened him with a bat until he did.
Detectives offered to show the woman the video, which she accepted, the arrest report stated. After tearfully viewing it, she asked to press charges.
Police tried to meet Based at his home, where only his wife appeared to detectives. They were able to agree to meet with Based at his workplace, where he was arrested without incident.
In an interview, Based initially admitted to his termination for touching a passenger but did not give the extent of the incident. He eventually relented and confessed to fondling the woman. He also admitted to going back to the woman’s home and apologizing to her.
Based stated that what he did was something that a married man shouldn’t be doing but may be “okay for a single man.” In the report, a detective replied that what he did “was not okay for anyone to do, regardless of being single or married.”
Based is due in for a preliminary hearing on April 6, according to a jail log. He is being held at Clark County Detention Center on $100,000 bail.