Florida taxi driver sexually assaulted blind woman in backseat of cab, police say

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. — A Florida taxi driver sexually assaulted a blind woman after she passed out in his cab, investigators said.

Joe Fernandez, 50, who was driving a United Cab, picked up the blind woman and at some point during the trip she passed out, WFLA reported.

Fernandez drove the woman to the Treasure Island hotel where she had requested to be taken. Investigators said that while the woman was unconscious, Fernandez raped her. The woman’s friend, who she was supposed to meet at the hotel, caught Fernandez assaulting her, WFLA reported.

“The friend realized it had been some time since the person should have been there,” Treasure Island Police Chief John Barkley told WFLA.

Fernandez climbed into the front seat and took off with the woman still in the backseat. He was stopped and taken into custody shortly afterward.

Fernandez was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual battery, kidnapping and one count of abuse of an elderly or disabled person, according to jail records. He is in jail on $255,000 bail.

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