Livery driver charged with raping passenger he picked up in the Seaport

A Quincy man faces arraignment on rape charges today after he allegedly picked up a woman outside Liberty Wharf early Sunday, drove her to a secluded area, then attacked her, Boston Police report.

Said Said, 40, also robbed her of her phone and credit cards - which were then used - police say.

Police say the woman hailed what she thought was a taxi cab late Saturday night outside 270 Northern Ave.

Later investigation showed the vehicle to be a livery vehicle. After entering the motor vehicle, the victim states that the suspect drove the victim to a secluded location where the sexual assault took place.

Said was arrested last night. He's scheduled for arraignment today in South Boston District Court on charges of aggravated rape, unarmed robbery and receiving stolen property, police said.

Innocent, etc.

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    Comments

    You will see more of these unfortunate incidents occuring

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    until the BPD cracks down on all of these guys who think it's the Wild West in this town regarding their flouting the laws against livery vehicles soliciting off of the street. I can tell you from personal experience that these guys are just riding around, not bothering to wait for whatever app they're using to get customers with and picking up anyone off of the street for cash. It's dangerous and it's illegal.

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    They're too busy writing

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    They're too busy writing tickets in the tunnels to (you know) actually protect the public.

    I blame Uber

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    if they were held to the same standard as our esteemed taxi drivers, this never would have happened.

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    Rapists cause rape.

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    As much as some folks will delight in spinning this into an anti-Uber tale, the bottom line is rapists cause rape.

    It doesn't matter if the person was driving a taxi, an Uber, or a unicycle - if Person A violates and sexually assaults Person B, Person A is at fault.

    ETA: I didn't miss the sarcasm. I'm just one of those folks who don't joke about rape.

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    sarcasm detective

    By on

    I think I just uncovered some sarcasm, you may have missed it. "Esteemed taxi drivers" -- yeah, nope.

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    Uber

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    probably would have reduced the likelhood of the woman being raped, as there would have been a digital trail linking the two through Uber's software.

    I tend to avoid cabs- getting into cars with strange men is usually a bad idea.

    Of course, that's not what a

    By on

    Of course, that's not what a livery driver is, pumpkin. A livery driver *is* licensed, under the same taxi system and with the same license; the difference is the car - a taxi can pick up off the street, a livery vehicle needs to be booked ahead of time. if you were to hire a limo for an event, the chauffeur would be a livery driver. It has jack all to do with Uber and Lyft. It's an official designation and license from the city of Boston, UNDER THE OLD, BROKEN SYSTEM, that you're touting.

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    Livery driver charged with raping passenger

    By on

    Hate to break it to you, thespian but in Boston, there are NO RULES/REGULATIONS covering livery drivers OR their vehicles. Zero! Zilch! Nada!

    All it takes to operate a livery "business" is an automobile with a state plate that costs less than $100 bucks. All regulations and enforcement are on City of Boston taxis. City Ordinance says who may dispatch/operate the city's taxis. Not much of a safety net! Add to that the fact that police are too busy chasing down murderers to bother with most cops see as a "victimless" crime - right up until there's another assault. Then BPD PR crews swing into action to tell the public how to tell a legal taxi from an illegal taxi - even though most of the city's cops couldn't tell one from the other. Besides, all the police cares about is getting those drunks off the street.

    Seriously?

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    This has nothing to do with app car services.

    What he did is exactly what every cab does in this city every day: drive around to find a vicitim (er, customer). The fact that he did it in a livery car instead of a metered cab is immaterial to how he found his victim and got them in the car.

    If you want to outlaw the activity that took place, then you're going to have to outlaw cabs entirely. There's nothing magical about having a meter on the dash that would have changed how this guy functioned that night.

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    I know

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    I wasn't serious....I just feel like that is the way some people will take this.

    Response to dvdoff

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    I responded to dvdoff's attempt to rope those services that he's known for hating into the discussion. I know your response was sarcastic.

    EDIT: Had Medicare perform a gender reassignment on my pronoun.

    She?

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    And if you notice, I didn't mention any of those services. I don't hate those services, I have a problem with the bad apples who hide behind the servces to break the law.

    My mistake

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    Huh...I could have sworn there was discussion on UHub before that you were a female limo driver, so I've had that in my head forever. My mistake, really sorry about that. It was so long ago that I don't recall the discussion but I thought it involved you being female.

    Back to the point, this:

    these guys are just riding around, not bothering to wait for whatever app they're using to get customers with and picking up anyone off of the street for cash. It's dangerous and it's illegal.

    Suggests he is a driver who uses apps to get clients when he could have just been using his car off-hours to try and rape someone trusting him as a car service. In other words, he may never have been a part of any app service, so to bring it up is facts not in evidence. So what's the reason for including it?

    You say now that you included it because bad apples hide behind the services to break the law...but that's not relevant since being a part of one of those services or not wasn't a pre-req for his activities that night. The only point in bringing it up would seem to be to tie them in by guilt by association.

    Let me ask you this then

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    If not for the preponderance of nondescript livery vehicles in this town, would this young lady otherwise have gotten in? And as I stated, I based my deduction on many nights of personal observation of that area at that time of the evening, and what I observed was several cars that I knew to be Uber drivers soliciting cash rides, riders soliciting any vehicle with livery plates (including a very drunk young lady who just literally got into my car, assuming that I was her Uber car) and a definite shortage of cabs.

    You are correct though, I am speculating before all the facts are in, but I would not be surprised at all to find this was an Uber driver.

    May have to wait to find out

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    Why does any drunk person get in the wrong car? Why does the fact that it happens make it easier for a rapist to pick out their victim where it happens?

    What does the existence of Uber have to do with either of those things? If Uber didn't exist at all, do you think either of those answers changes?

    I think we agree that the medallion system is fucked up in Boston. THAT is why there are tons of "livery" cars instead of more taxis. Before Uber ever existed, I had plenty of black car drivers solicit me for fares from the airport all the time. There's money to be made and going around the medallion system will help you make it. Uber just organized that activity under an actually-legal veneer instead of the shady version that took place before.

    I would bet $100 this guy is

    By on

    I would bet $100 this guy is with some old school phone dispatched car service and not Uber.

    Whenever I arrive in NYC, or

    Whenever I arrive in NYC, or BOS, I'm always a little surprised by how blatantly these guys solicit rides, "Need a taxi, need a ride." I'm sure they get fares. There are big signs telling visitors how to get a legitimate taxi at the airport. Police need to be present in the terminals and sweep these guys out of there.

    That one

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    I think said line where it is written "Said Said" is saying "that Said, the one we're talking about here."

    Yeah

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    Don't you remember him from the '80s band Talk Talk?

    Indeed

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    They opened for Duran Duran in Walla Walla.

    While it might be fun to talk about about jurisdiction,

    By on

    let's not lose sight of real issues here - that a woman mistakenly took a livery vehicle for a cab, and that that livery driver unlawfully picked that woman up and sexually assaulted her.

    We should spend our time talking about how horrendous events like this can be prevented going forward - not about how there is some overlapping police jurisdiction in South Boston (e.g., education campaign (partic. for new college kids): unless the car is white and has a Boston Hackney No. on it, it cannot be hailed in Boston).

    (I will say only this on jurisdiction, as I have said it many times before on UHub: except for the few towns which do not have police departments of their own and a few other enclaves, there is overlapping police jurisdiction almost everywhere in the Commonwealth since the Department of State Police has plenary jurisdiction throughout the Commonwealth. I don't see it as a reason to complain unless there is very good evidence that concurrent jurisdiction is substantially impeding investigations, etc. I am aware of no such evidence in South Boston or elsewhere.)

    The real issue here is

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    that a woman was apparently sexually assualted by this driver. Whether he was driving a livery car or a cab is totally irrellevant.

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    Really?

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    That's the real issue? Thanks...I was under the impression the real issue was what color car he was driving. Thanks again for setting me straight.

    Not totally irrelevant

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    I agree that what kind of car is not hugely important, however, I mentioned the livery/cab distinction because, presumably, a livery driver who has been called (either using the "old" telephone technology or the new app technology) is less likely to commit a crime like this because it is nearly guaranteed that s/he will be caught as there will be a record that s/he picked up that passenger. Obviously, there are some criminals to whom this would not make a difference, but I think those are a very small minority.

    While it is also the case that there is no pickup record in a cab, there is, at least many markings all over the inside and outside of vehicle that may make it memorable (certainly more than a black livery car), and there is generally a record of who was driving the cab at what time (but I realize that sometimes drivers will "sublet" the cab for a few hours - but if your buddy rapes someone while doing it, presumably you turn him/her in rather than going to prison yourself) and ID of that person in the cab. All of this presumably makes the cabbie slightly less inclined to commit a crime because it makes him/her more likely to be caught.

    Bottom line - hailed livery, less likely anyone can provide identifying info; called livery, you will know; cab, you have a better chance of being able to provide identifying info.

    I realize that none of these things is near foolproof, but they are some examples of why the distinction is not totally irrelevant.This is why I mentioned trying to do something to help prevent this in the future, and why the education example I gave might perhaps make a tiny difference in the future.

    Jebus

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    Just saw the guy on the news and he resembles a cab driver who followed me in his car and kept offering me a free ride a couple months ago in Roxbury. He said, it's late! (It was just after 2:00 a.m.) Let me give you a ride, for free.

    He seemed nice and genuine enough, but I was skeeved out, and had to repeatedly decline the offer as he slowly drove alongside me.

    Same person? No idea. (Probably not, what are the chances?) Cab, livery or other vehicle? Also not sure, as I was mostly focused on getting the hell away. All I can remember is that it looked official. Shudder. My thoughts go out to this woman.

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    As a Part Time Cab Driver...

    Wow, you're still reading?

    Yes, I am a part time cab driver in Boston. Before you leave though, I am in no way here to defend them, because I know for the most part, they suck. I was a huge critic of cabs on here before getting my hack license, and I still hear the constant horror stories from my passengers: the driver told me the card reader was broken, he made me go to the ATM, he smoked and talked on the phone the entire way while going 80. It pisses me off to no end to hear this, because it makes every cab driver look bad and more people want to take Uber (rightfully so) and avoid cabs altogether. I've literally taken my cab out of service to get my reader fixed. Is this rare? Yes, but it's the law. It's 2014 and people should be able to use a credit card. Period.

    People often ask me if I hate Uber, and the answer is no. If people want to use Uber, a legal car service, and maybe pay a bit more, that's their prerogative. I have plenty of friends who use Uber because it's fast and convenient, and there's no haggling over using a credit card or taking the longest route to their destination. There's no harm in that.

    For what it's worth, Boston cab drivers do go through a background and sex offender check before even being allowed to take the class to get their license. I understand Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar all have some sort of background checks as well.

    Does that mean you'll be absolutely safe though? Of course it doesn't. Anyone can do anything at anytime. Boston cab, Uber, or illegal gypsy cab, it doesn't matter. If the driver wants to do something unscrupulous, he or she will.

    My biggest problem though, in relation to this story, is these livery drivers and as well out of town cabs picking up street hails illegally in Boston. I see it no matter what night I drive; weeknight or weekend. I once came on this site (you can look it up) and proposed a regional cab plan so that cabs from all over can pick up in Boston. Since driving, I've now changed my mind. I know Boston doesn't have a ton of cabs, and in some ways a cab from Cambridge dropping off in Boston and returning to Cambridge empty isn't exactly economical; but if you get into a Waltham cab in Boston (yes, Waltham Classic Cab roams Boston streets every night looking for fares) you run the risk of being charged a different rate and driving with a driver that, GPS or not, probably has little clue where they are going (not that Boston cab drivers necessarily do either, but I'd like to think most have at least a basic grasp....maybe not). Out of town cabs have gotten cute too, using the same paint scheme and colors as Boston taxis (think you're hailing a Metro Cab or City Cab? Look closely; you might be getting into a "Metric Cab" or "Easy Taxi"; the former having Metro Cab's colors, the latter City Cab's). Medford and Saugus cabs are starting to do this more often.

    Unlicensed livery drivers, however, are the worst offenders and in my opinion, the biggest danger. People think you need a "livery license" to operate a livery vehicle in Boston, but no such thing exists (if you think this is wrong, call BPD Hackney and ask about getting a livery license). To be a livery service, you need little more than a driver's license, a vehicle, and if you're doing it legally, livery plates. I don't know what this guy was driving, but I've seen PLENTY of vehicles (vans mostly) with standard license plates and a magnetic sign on the side with some company name and a phone number. Some entrepreneurial livery guys have even gone a step further, adding taxi dome lights to the top of their vehicles; one van even says "TAXI" and has a taxi advertisement roof topper, but a livery license plate. A vehicle with a livery plate is not a taxi. There's nothing stopping anyone, with NO background check, and a criminal past, from slapping a roof light and a magnetic sign on their car and trying to pick people up. Again, I don't know this particular guy's history, but I'm speaking from my observation.

    I re-iterate: I know Boston taxis and Uber vehicles may not be 100% safe either, but I'd like to think they are safer than Joe X Livery Service, in his van, attempting to pick people up. At least with Boston cabs and Uber, someone has checked the driver out. (In terms of a record of fares for Boston cabs, we are encouraged to keep a waybill, but it's not mandatory. I'm probably 1 of 3 drivers that does, and the other two don't know it's optional).

    The bottom line here is that I hope the girl is ok, and I hope that the city steps up enforcement of any illegal vehicle from picking up in the city.

    And my PSA, a licensed Boston taxi is white, has a medallion on the trunk, the words "LICENSED HACKNEY CARRIAGE POLICE DEPT CITY OF BOSTON" on the medallion, and BOSTON LIC. TAXI on both back fenders. Is someone going to look for this? Probably not, but those are signs the cab is licensed in Boston. If it has no medallion or says "livery" anywhere on it, it's not a taxi.

    If you're not sure, don't get into it. If you outright hate cabs, try Uber or another ride sharing service. Please don't get into a random van with a magnetic sign.

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    Yup

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    Fellow driver here. Good point that whether it's a licensed taxi, or an Uber car, someone has checked them out. I'm not a fan of Uber at all, but better them taking our fares than out of town cabs and gypsies, from a public safety stand point.

    Last year when there was another report of a livery driver sexually assaulting a female passenger, I had a lady come up to my cab at the Park Plaza cab stand because the cab in front of me did not have a recognizeable radio association. Thankfully, I knew the driver personally and reassured the young lady.

    The point is, consumer education works, as the police had warned people through PSA's to use only licensed cabs, or liveries they had summoned.

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