A 46-year-old cabbie was arrested Monday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman on her route home from Capitola Village in April. It was the second arrest of a taxicab driver in Santa Cruz County lately, as a 53-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of rape in Santa Cruz on March 31. The cases don’t seem related and included diverse taxi organizations, said Santa Cruz County sheriff’s agent Ryan Kennedy.
At 1 a.m. on April 20, a 42-year-old Santa Cruz woman had been drinking and got in a taxi in Capitola Village, Kennedy said. Salvador Ceja Rocha, a driver with Aptos-based Village Taxi Co., drove her to a separated range in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park and tried to sexually assault her, investigators said. The lady fought back and escaped the taxicab, authorities said. Rocha sped off and the woman called police. She was not injured, Kennedy said.
Representatives researched and captured Rocha on suspicion of assault with intentions to commit a sex crime, authorities said. Rocha, of Watsonville, stayed in Santa Cruz County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $25,000 bail, as per jail records. Kennedy said Rocha regularly worked around evening time and there may be additional assault victims focused around the examination. Deputies admonished taxi customers to ride in pairs when conceivable and call an alternate taxicab if the driver looks suspicious.
On March 31, Santa Cruz police captured Yellow Cab driver Ahmed Ali Abdi on suspicion of sexually attacking a 30-year-old woman in an Ocean Street motel room. He picked up the intoxicated woman on the 900 block of Pacific Avenue, police said. He stayed in Santa Cruz County Jail Tuesday in lieu of $250,000 bail, as indicated by jail records.