[an error occurred while processing this directive]

I-Team looks into violent past of Kalamazoo cab driver accused of rape

Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 |
I-Team looks into violent past of Kalamazoo cab driver accused of rape story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The I-Team is looking into a cab driver who is facing multiple charges, after being accused of a brutal attack on one of his fares.

38-year-old Robert Prescott is a felon who was out on parole.

But now, he's in the Kalamazoo County Jail on 15 felony charges, including criminal sexual conduct and carrying a firearm.

Tuesday night, his alleged victim told her story exclusively to the Newschannel 3 I-Team. She feels as though there is a much larger issue in play, and is hoping to help other women avoid what happened to her.

The alleged victim says she received rides from Prescott in his taxi about five times in the last few months.

She says he seemed sweet and lonely, and she never had any indication of his violent past.

She believes Godspeed Taxi never should have allowed Prescott to be a driver, and she wants the City of Kalamazoo to mandate change.

On Sunday, January 12, Prescott picked up the alleged victim near 9th and Stadium in Oshtemo, but she says Prescott wasn't heading to her house.

"He was like, 'well, we're going to hang out at my house.'" she recalled. "I was like, 'no we're not!'"

She says Prescott ended up driving his Godspeed Taxi to a parking lot off Stockbridge, where he forced her into the back of the cab and raped her.

The alleged victim says Prescott dropped her off at her home at around 6:30, and the police were there by 7:00.

"He was texting me and calling me when the police were here," she said of Prescott.

Kalamazoo Public Safety waited outside Godspeed Taxi and arrested Prescott around 11:30.

Michael Bowling, a Southern Baptist minister of over 30 years, started Godpseed Taxi in 2009, and says Prescott started working for the company late last year.

He says one of his clients recommended Prescott and called, asking that Bowling hire him.

Bowling says at that point he didn't know much about Prescott's criminal record.

It goes back 20 years and includes felony assault of a police officer in 2006, and also a guilty plea to assault and battery charges less than three months ago.

Bowling says seeing Prescott's criminal record probably wouldn't have made a difference.

"That's what I do; I look to minister to people to help them get their lives back on track," he said.

"In this country, we're innocent until proven guilty, and until I find out different, I will support him," Bowling added.

That's part of the reason the alleged victim is so upset.

"If they would have done their due diligence on checking into him, this would have never happened to me," she said, adding that she hasn't slept a full night since the attack.

When reached for comment earlier Tuesday, City Commissioner Stephanie Moore offered the following statement:

"As a champion for equal opportunities for everyone, I believe in second chances.  In every situation it is important that you put the right people in the right position according to their skill set, especially when providing direct services. 

Of course I support policy that is written not to exclude but to include everyone and provide equal opportunity for all.

Currently the City of Kalamazoo no longer ask the question on our resumes "have you been convicted."  Individuals can apply for employment and enter the process based on their skill and work history.  Of course background checks and drug test are a part of the hiring process and people are considered on a case by case basis."

Moore says she believes the conversation needs to be continued by the Kalamazoo City Commission to do everything possible to protect consumers.

Prescott faces 15 felony charges, and is next due in court on February 18.
comments powered by Disqus
advertisement

What do you want to see?

If you have a story idea for the I-Team, you can contact us using the form below or by calling 269-388-4612.
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.

Business News

Last Update on July 06, 2015 17:13 GMT

GREECE-BAILOUT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- A top Greek official says the government is "moving immediately"" to reach a deal with its creditors "as soon as possible" in order to stave off economic collapse.

Government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has sought support from all political party leaders and that the government is "fully aware of how crucial the situation is."

Tsipras met with rival party leaders a day after Greeks soundly rejected a proposal by creditors for more austerity measures in exchange for rescue money.

Sakellaridis said the leaders couldn't ignore the people's message for a viable deal that would be fair to the poor, deal with Greece's massive debt and restore liquidity to the hobbled banking system.

GREECE-BAILOUT: IMF

ATHENS-Greece (AP) -- International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde says the fund stands "ready to assist Greece if requested to do so."

Her statement is the IMF's first reaction to Sunday's decision by Greek voters to reject further austerity measures in return for bailout loans.

Greece is in arrears to the IMF, having failed to pay a 1.5 billion-euro ($1.7 billion) loan due last Tuesday. The IMF said it couldn't get involved in a further bailout of Greece if the country remained in arrears.

The IMF last week also said that Greece would need debt relief as well as new financing worth more than 60 billion euros through 2018 to avoid financial collapse.

Greece is expected to meet with its creditors tomorrow.

GREECE-BAILOUT-REACTION

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- On the streets of Athens, Greeks are proud of their toughness and defiance after Sunday's landslide "no" vote against creditors' demands -- but they acknowledge there's still plenty to worry about.

George Papadokostakis, a 34-year-old coffee shop owner, says he's very happy with the referendum result. He says "something happened last night with the Greek people. ... we were in a dead-end situation (but) with the `no' vote we believe there may be something better."

Shoe store worker Nicky Zachary thinks Greeks are tough and united in rejecting austerity. She says "we can live with very little and we can live through difficult situations. And I think after the referendum, the Greek people are united."

GREECE-BAILOUT-TSIPRAS

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's defense minister says three opposition parties have signed a declaration backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (TSEE'-prahs) in bailout negotiations with creditors.

That makes a total of five parties behind the prime minister, who already had the support of his own Syriza (SEER'-ih-zah) party and the junior party in the governing coalition, the Independent Greeks.

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos says the support heralds a "new era" in Greek politics and would boost Athens' chances of reaching a deal with European and international creditors.

Tsipras convened a meeting of party leaders today, a day after winning a bailout referendum that rejected creditors' previous demands. Following the vote, Greece's finance minister resigned, and he's already been replaced.

GREECE-BAILOUT: FINANCE MINISTER

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- The Greek government has named Euclid Tsakalotos as the country's new finance minister, a day ahead of an emergency meeting with creditors in Brussels.

The 55-year-old economist was Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' lead bailout negotiator in talks that halted last month before Tsipras called a bailout referendum. In that referendum, Greeks overwhelmingly voted against recent creditor proposals required for bailout cash.

Tsakalotos replaces fellow-economist Yanis Varoufakis who quit earlier Monday, saying his departure would help bailout negotiations reach an agreement.

GREECE-BAILOUT: FITCH

UNDATED (AP) -- Credit ratings agency Fitch says Greece's `no' vote in Sunday's austerity referendum "dramatically increases" the risk of the country leaving the eurozone.

Fitch said a deal between Greece and its creditors remains possible but that there's little time. The agency said the resignation of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis signals the Greek government's desire to again start talking with its creditors.

It said creditors could make stronger commitments on easing Greece's huge debt but were unlikely to make big concessions on austerity measures. In addition, Fitch said the European Central Bank may find a way to provide hobbled Greek banks with additional liquidity while negotiations continued.

Markets steadied on the news of Varoufakis' resignation to not register further falls. Germany's DAX ended 1.5 percent lower, while the euro was up 0.8 percent on the day just below $1.11.

ECONOMY-SERVICES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. service firms grew at a slightly faster pace in June, as business activity and new orders increased.

The Institute for Supply Management says its services index edged up to 56 in June from 55.7 in May. Any reading over 50 indicates that services firms are expanding.

Steady hiring over the past year has fueled a consumer spending rebound from a winter slump. Many economists say the economy will expand at an annual rate of 2.5 per cent in the second quarter, after shrinking during the first three months of 2015.

Still, the index's hiring component slipped in June to 52.7 from 55.3 in May, which indicates that the rate of job growth might slow.

JAPAN-HONDA

TOKYO (AP) -- Honda's new CEO is promising to take more time in product development, and to bring his company together as a team to avoid the quality lapses that have led to shrinking profits at the Japanese automaker.

Takahiro Hachigo, an engineer who has worked in the U.S. as well as China, talked to reporters today after his appointment was approved by shareholders and the company board.

Honda's brand image has suffered after a series of massive recalls for popular vehicles in Japan, as well as for defective Takata air bags in global markets.

Hachigo's promise to turn the company around centers on raising the efficiency of global manufacturing and delivering on what he calls Honda-like products. But he's been a little short on specifics.

SKINNY OREOS

NEW YORK (AP) -- These Oreos are for adults. That's what the parent company of the Nabisco treat is saying about the new "Oreo Thins."

Mondelez International says Oreo Thins still have the same cookie to cream ratio, but they're thinner. And each cookie is 140 calories as opposed to the 160-calorie regular Oreo cookie.

Mondelez calls Oreo Thins a "sophisticated" snack for grown-ups that isn't meant to be twisted or dunked.

The thinner cookie joins the permanent lineup of Oreo cookies starting next week in the U.S.

advertisement