Belmont student says she was sexually assaulted by cab driver

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Belmont University student reported she was sexually assaulted by a cab driver early Sunday morning.

The woman said she left the 1500 block of Demonbreun Street, near campus, in a taxi around 1 a.m.

The alleged victim told police she got into the front passenger seat and that at one point the driver reached over and fondled her. The woman said she told the driver to stop, but he continued before sexually assaulting her.

The woman said the cab was a minivan that was either orange or partially orange.

The driver reportedly had a heavy accent and may be of Indian descent. He is believed to be around 30 years old.

The chief of security at Belmont told News 2 the student involved in the alleged assault notified the university’s campus security who then immediately contacted Metro police.

The alert to students went out three hours later Monday once all relevant information was collected from police.

“It’s scary just because you assume those things are going to be safe,” said Sammi Potts, a junior at Belmont.

She also said she doesn’t plan to get into a cab alone anytime soon.

“Definitely going to bring my roommates when I go out and just be really, really cautious around that type of situation,” Potts added.

Billy Fields, the director of the Transportation Licensing Commission, said the alleged incident is “alarming.”

“We do background checks on our drivers. We work really hard to make sure that our drivers are trained,” Fields said. “We screen them properly.”

Right now, every cab in Nashville is required to have a GPS tracking device by law, and it’s something Metro police are looking into.

A third of the taxi cabs also have cameras, but at this point it’s not mandatory.

“It’s actually on a list of safety devices we are looking at in addition to different panic devices that can go in a taxi cab, both for the passenger and the driver,” Fields added.

Further details about the alleged assault weren’t known. The investigation is ongoing.

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