Penticton cab company responds after allegations of sexual assault

·2 min read

A Penticton cab company says two of its drivers are no longer working with the company following their arrest for allegations of sexual assault.

On Oct. 17 the Penticton RCMP received a report of an alleged sexual assault involving two cab drivers with Courtesy Taxi/Klassic Cabs in Penticton. A 36-year old-man from Osoyoos and a 28-year-old man from Penticton were arrested and released on conditions to have no contact with the victim, according to RCMP. The matter remains under investigation.

In a statement made on social media, management from Courtesy Taxi and Klassic Cabs said both men were laid off following the alleged incident. Neither of the two men have been formally charged and knew the alleged victim, according to RCMP.

“When management first heard about this incident, both drivers involved were laid off until further investigation. Management had not yet heard of any convictions or charges against these drivers, however, they were still not put back on the road,” states the post.

“After three weeks, one of the two drivers approached the dispatcher and claimed he had not been convicted or charged and asked to be put back on shift. He was put back on the road for one shift by a dispatcher who was not aware that the driver was not to be put on the road until further notice. When management found out he was back on the road, he was fired immediately and sent home," the social media statment says. "Both drivers are permanently terminated and will not be put back on the road for Courtesy or Klassic Cabs again. We apologize immensely as none of this should have happened under our management. We do not allow or tolerate any of this behaviour.”

The statement from Courtesy Cabs managment says in its 25-year history the company has “not encountered an incident like this before,” and new protocols will be put in place at the company including installing cameras in cabs and displaying direct contact information and cab numbers being on the dash of their cabs.

“We want our community to feel safe using our cabs and we will do what we can to ensure an incident like this does not occur again.”

RCMP have not released the names of either men. RCMP said both men knew the alleged victim and although both have been arrested “the matter is still very much under investigation.”

“Once completed, it will be forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service for charge assessment,” Sgt. Jason Bayda said.

Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle