WIND ADVISORY

10 AM Until 2 AM Saturday

The National Weather Service maintains a WIND ADVISORY for nearly all of West Michigan from 10 AM this morning until 2 AM Saturday morning.  45 mph gusts are likely inland while 50 mph gusts are possible at the Lake Shore.  This kind of wind is capable of bringing down tree branches and creating some power outages.  Obviously, we hope that doesn't happen.  Winds blow from the northwest this morning then from the north by midday and beyond.  Stay with wwmt.com for your weather today and always!

Breaking Weather Map #1
Breaking Weather Map #2
Breaking Weather Map #3
Breaking Weather Map #4
[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 October 31, 2014 07:28 GMT

WORLD-FINANCIAL MARKETS

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average surged 5 percent and the yen slid against the dollar after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced new stimulus to boost a flagging economic recovery.

Other Asian stock markets were also higher after the Japanese central bank's announcement Friday. The dollar rose 1.2 percent to 110.64 yen.

The bank said it would increase its asset purchases by between 10 trillion yen and 20 trillion yen ($90.7 billion to $181.3 billion) to about 80 trillion yen ($725 billion) annually.

The Nikkei was up 4.6 percent at 16,380.11 after shedding some of its initial gains. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.2 percent and Seoul's Kospi was up 0.1 percent.

ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Today. the Commerce Department will release its September report on consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity in the U.S.

Also, the University of Michigan will issue its monthly index of consumer sentiment for October. In September, the index reached its highest level since July 2013, led by greater optimism that the economy will grow and incomes will rise.

The Labor Department will also release the third-quarter employment cost index.

Before the market opens, Exxon Mobil will report its quarterly financial results.

CITI-REVISED EARNS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Citigroup is slashing its third-quarter earnings by $600 million, saying that recent investigations by regulators have altered the results it reported earlier this month.

The New York-based bank on Thursday revised its quarterly net income to $2.8 billion from a previously reported $3.4 billion, citing legal expenses.

The bank's operating expenses rose from $12.36 billion to about $13 billion.

The company said in a statement the unexpected increase came from "rapidly-evolving regulatory inquiries and investigations, including very recent communications with certain regulatory agencies related to previously-disclosed matters."

Citi previously reported third-quarter net income of $3.44 billion, or $1.07 per share, on Oct. 14. The results exceeded Wall Street estimates.

Like other major banks, Citigroup has been the target of lawsuits and government investigations for its role in the mortgage meltdown that helped spur the financial crisis of 2008.

SURGICAL GOWNS LAWSUIT

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A lawsuit says Kimberly-Clark Corp. falsely claimed its surgical gowns met the highest standards for protecting against Ebola and other infectious diseases.

Lead attorney Michael Avenatti says the Texas hospital where two nurses contracted Ebola used to stock the gowns but it's not clear if the nurses had used them.

The $500 million fraud suit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles on behalf of a surgeon who wore the gowns.

The lawsuit says Kimberly-Clark knew for a year that the gowns failed industry tests and allowed the transfer of bodily fluids, bacteria and viruses, but the company still promoted them as having the highest level of impermeability.

The maker of Kleenex and other consumer products says it doesn't comment on lawsuits but stands behind its products' safety.

advertisement