[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 September 22, 2014 17:29 GMT

WALL STREET-PROTEST

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hundreds of activists protesting what they say is Wall Street's role in the climate crisis have gathered in lower Manhattan's financial district.

Scores of environmental activists dressed in blue are marching, carrying signs, chanting and sitting down on Broadway and elsewhere as workers and tourists look on.

Organizers say the protest is meant to highlight the role corporations play in stalling political action to combat global warming. It comes a day after more than 100,000 participated in the People's Climate March through Manhattan.

Participants in Monday's sit-down say they anticipate being arrested to push home their political point.

Urban farmer Ben Shapiro from Youngstown, Ohio, says he came to disrupt Wall Street and actively "confront the system."

HOME SALES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fewer Americans bought homes in August, as investors retreated from real estate and first-time buyers remained scarce.

The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes fell 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million. That snaps a four-month streak of gains. August sales are down from a July rate of 5.14 million, a figure that was revised slightly downward.

Much of the slowdown came from the exodus of investors, who had been buying properties in the aftermath of the housing bust and recession. Investors accounted for just 12 percent of August purchases, compared to 17 percent a year earlier.

Overall, the pace of home sales has dropped 5.3 percent year-over-year.

Rising prices through much of 2013 and weak income growth priced out many would-be buyers.

EUROPE-ECONOMY

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- The head of the European Central Bank is warning that the eurozone's already tepid economic recovery "is losing momentum."

Mario Draghi is telling members of the European parliament that recent economic indicators have given "no indication" of an upturn since August. The 18 countries that use the euro saw no economic growth at all in the second quarter.

Draghi says growth is being threatened by geopolitical disturbances and the failure of member governments to reform their economies and make them more efficient.

The ECB chief also defended the bank's new stimulus program, an offer of cheap, long-term loans to banks. Banks took only 82.6 billion euros at the first offering last week, less than many market analysts expected. Draghi says the takeup was within the bank's expectations.

APPLE-IPHONE SALES

NEW YORK (AP) -- Apple says it sold more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, a record for a new model, in the three days after the phones went on sale.

A year ago, Apple Inc. said it had sold 9 million of the then-new iPhone 5C and 5S models.

The iPhone is available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the U.K. It will go on sale in 20 more countries on Sept. 26 and others by the end of the year.

CEO Tim Cook said Monday that demand for the phones has exceeded the company's expectations. Besides larger screens, the new phones offer faster performance and a wireless chip for making credit card payments. The phones start at $199 with a two-year service contact.

FED-PLOSSER

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Charles Plosser, a leading inflation "hawk" at the Federal Reserve, says he will retire in March.

Plosser, who has been president of the Fed's Philadelphia regional bank since August 2006, has been among the leaders of the officials known as hawks for their concerns that a continuation of low-interest rate policies could ignite inflation.

He has dissented at the past two Fed meetings, when the central bank voted to maintain its plan to keep a key short-term rate at a record low for a "considerable time."

Plosser, 66, would have given up his vote on the Fed's policymaking committee next year as part of the normal rotation of votes among the regional bank presidents. And the rules governing the Fed's 12 regional banks would have required his retirement in 2016.

GENERAL MOTORS-IGNITION SWITCH DEATHS

DETROIT (AP) -- The death toll from crashes involving General Motors small cars with faulty ignition switches has risen to at least 21.

Compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg says in an Internet posting he received 143 death claims as of Friday. He has determined that 21 are eligible for compensation so far. Last week 19 death claims were deemed eligible for payments.

Feinberg also has received 532 injury claims. Of those, 16 are eligible for compensation thus far. The rest are still being reviewed.

GM has admitted knowing about the ignition switch problem in small cars like the Chevrolet Cobalt for more than a decade. Yet it didn't begin recalling the cars until February.

The switches can unexpectedly shut off the engine and cause crashes.

GM hired Feinberg to compensate crash victims.

FRANCE-PILOTS STRIKE

PARIS (AP) -- Air France pilots are rejecting the company's offer to delay the expansion of its low-cost carrier, Transavia, after a seven-day strike that the airline says is costing it up to 20 million euros ($25 million) a day.

Pilots unions went on strike last week after Air France-KLM announced plans to save 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) over several years in part by transferring European operations to Transavia. The company, which is cutting costs to try to stay competitive with budget airlines, says talks are deadlocked. About half the airlines' flights have been cancelled since the strike began.

The main pilots' union, SNPL, says Monday's offer to delay the expansion until December is a smokescreen, accusing the airline of trying to outsource jobs to countries with lower taxes and cheaper labor.

CLOROX-VENEZUELA

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Clorox is shutting down its operations in Venezuela, citing restrictions by the government, supply disruptions and economic uncertainty.

Shares jumped 3 percent before the opening bell Monday.

The U.S. consumer products company said that for almost three years it has had to sell more than two-thirds of its products at prices frozen by the Venezuelan government. Over that same time span, there has been a sharp rise in inflation that resulted in significantly higher costs for Clorox. The company says it's selling products at a loss in the country.

The Clorox Co. met repeatedly met with government authorities and said it had expected significant price hikes. However, the increases that were approved were "nowhere near sufficient" and it said the company would be forced to continue operating at a loss.

advertisement