Cabdriver Charged With Sexually Abusing Passenger in River North

Murasbeck Elchiev, 40, of Niles, faces felony counts of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and unlawful restraint, according to CPD

A cabdriver refused to let a woman out of his taxi for nearly an hour and sexually abused her after picking her up early Saturday in the River North neighborhood, authorities said.

Murasbeck Elchiev, 40, of Niles, faces felony counts of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and unlawful restraint, according to Chicago Police.

He appeared in court Tuesday and was ordered held without bail.

The 24-year-old woman hailed Elchiev’s cab about about 2:35 a.m. in the 300 block of West Ontario after leaving a work party, according to police and Cook County prosecutors.

Elchiev saw the woman was intoxicated and covered the lens of a camera that was recording the interior of the Toyota Prius Flash Cab moments after she got inside. He began to drive, and when the woman didn’t recognize the route, she asked to be let out, according to court records.

Elchiev continued to drive and locked the doors. She called another person during the ride and asked Elchiev to talk to them, but after taking her phone, he hung up and would not give it back, prosecutors said.

For nearly an hour, Elchiev drove the woman and repeatedly asked her to perform oral sex on him, prosecutors said. The woman refused and he eventually pulled over in the Bucktown neighborhood and told her he would allow her out of the cab if she showed him her breasts.

When woman pulled down her shirt and exposed her bra, prosecutors said, Elchiev reached into the back of the cab and took her breast out and fondled her. After, he continued to drive and pressured her for sex.

When she was able to unlock the door and get out near her apartment, he allegedly followed her in his cab for two blocks, at times blocking her path and telling her to get back inside. He drove off with her phone.

The woman’s roommate and a person who had been at the party with her earlier grew concerned when she didn’t come home and they tracked her phone, prosecutors said. When they saw the phone’s location was close to the apartment, they found her walking outside and she told them what happened.

Elchiev was found sleeping in his cab in a parking lot at O’Hare International Airport later that morning, authorities said. The woman’s phone was found under a seat in the cab and he was taken into custody.

In his arrest report, officers said Elchiev told them he had the woman’s phone because she did not have money to pay for the trip and he was planning to take the phone to her home to get the money.

Although Elchiev covered the lens of the camera during the trip, prosecutors said the camera recorded audio from inside the cab which confirmed what the woman told police.

In court, Elchiev’s court-appointed attorney said Elchiev was married and has a young child who is disabled. He previously worked as a truck driver.

A spokesperson for Flash Cab did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the incident.

Elchiev was scheduled to return to court March 26.

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