Woman says she was called racial slur, assaulted by cab driver - CBS46 News

Woman says she was called racial slur, assaulted by cab driver

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The scrapes and bruises on 22-year-old Aerial Brown's body have disappeared since she said a taxi cab driver punched her and dragged her with his vehicle.

But she said she cannot forget the racial slur she claims the driver called her.

Brown said that on Aug. 8 she ordered a cab to take her to work, and was running late. She said her fiancé went down to find a light-colored, unmarked minivan.

"Once my fiancé went out to wave to him to tell him that I was on my way out, the cab driver yelled a couple cuss words. My fiancé told me not to get in the car. I told him I had to," Brown said. "I got in the car, he was calling me all types of names saying, ‘The n-word is always late for something - you're never on time.' Once we hit Old Norcross and Lawrenceville Highway, he pulled over the car and he was like, ‘We need more white people in this world.' Then he turned around and hit me."

Brown said she had no cell phone to call for help.

"To be in a place where I can't do nothing and no one's around, no one can see, it was pretty scary," Brown said.

The driver dropped Brown off at the store she works at, but she quickly realized that she had dropped her sunglasses in his car.

"I don't know why I reached back in the car when I got out but I did, and he hit me in the back of my head, spit in my face and drove off with me hanging off the car," Brown said.

Gwinnett County police said in a report that surveillance video from Brown's place of work confirms that she was dragged by the van. Brown claims she was dragged for about 15 feet.

Worse, Brown almost didn't have the courage to report what happened to police.

"He was like, ‘No one's going to believe a n-----,'" Brown said.

Brown did report what happened to police, and they arrested a man named William Singelmann, who said he runs Gwinnett Taxi.

The Lawrenceville address listed for his business was a residence that had two light-colored minivans parked in its garage, one of them with a taxi driver license plate.

Singelmann said he did not run the business from his home, but did admit to picking Brown up in his taxi.

"What can I say? I'm not that kind of a person," Singelmann said. "How can the police officer tell you what she said in the cab when we were alone together in the cab?"

When asked about surveillance video showing Brown being dragged by a minivan, Singelmann said there was more to the story.

"When I dropped her off, she got out of the cab, then she turned around, tried to get back in and started hitting me," Singelmann said. "The surveillance video ought to show that."

Singelmann was booked into Gwinnett County Jail on Aug. 16 and released on bond. He's charged with a hit-and-run, aggravated assault, battery and not having a business license.

Brown said she doesn't feel safe knowing that he is out on bond.

"He could be angry, see me on the side of the road and run me over – whatever he's thinking," Brown said. "He was crazy enough to do that, he can be capable of other stuff."

Now Brown said she hopes Singelmann faces hate crime charges, too.

"That degraded my race," Brown said. "It had nothing to do with him being angry at me or me being 10 minutes late to come out of the house. Whatever he was calling me I didn't deserve."

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