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Woman: Taxi Driver Put 'His Face in My Chest'

Manhattan Beach police have taken one new report and received phone calls in their ongoing investigation into a South Bay taxi driver accused of sexually assaulting female passengers.

Since releasing information Wednesday about a taxi driver who was arrested on Nov. 21 on suspicion of sexually assaulting female passengers, Manhattan Beach police have taken one report about an incident that happened in the city "back in June or July," said MBPD Detective Mike Rosenberger on Friday morning.

Police have fielded additional calls but are not sure if the incidents are related, he told Patch. The investigation is ongoing and arises from two situations that happened in August—one in MB, the other in Redondo Beach.

The modus operandi of the taxi driver—who has only been publicly identified as a male resident of Torrance—is to offer solo girls a ride late at night, Rosenberger said. The driver reportedly opens the front side passenger door of the cab while offering them a ride, and the woman who gets into the front passenger seat is then in a position to be touched by the driver, said Rosenberger. 

"It (taking a seat in the front passenger side of the vehicle) kind of facilitates the groping," said Rosenberger. "That's kind of key to this whole thing."

In an interview with KTLA, Heidi Dittmer said she was walking down the street when the taxi driver offered her a ride.

"He (turns) his body towards me," she recounted. "He reaches over and he pulls my green top down and he puts his face in my chest."

Rosenberger said police expect to release the man's photo next week, but have not done so yet so that potential victims and witnesses can provide objective information. He said they have held two photo lineups without releasing the man's photo or name to the public to avoid "undue influence."

The man posted bond when arrested and is due in court "sometime in January," said Rosenberger.

Anyone with information on additional incidents should call Rosenberger at 310-802-5127.

  • Previously: Taxi Driver Accused of Sexual Assault

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