NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The NOPD has obtained an arrest warrant for a cab driver in connection with a pandering and extortion investigation.
Police said 21-year-old Saqib Shahzad faces pandering, extortion and theft charges in an incident that occurred Nov. 8 at the I-510 and the Littlewoods exit.
At about 5:30 a.m., a 21-year-old woman told police she flagged down a Yellow Cab at the corner of Bourbon and Iberville streets. Once inside, the woman told the driver that she only had $20 in cash and that she needed a ride to Lacombe, La. The cab driver agreed to drive her half way. Police said while driving, the cab driver changed his mind and told the victim that if she would perform a sexual favor, he would drive her all the way. The victim refused several times as the cab driver kept propositioning her.
The driver pulled over to the shoulder of the road and gave the alleged victim $80 in cash to perform the sexual act. She took the money and got out of the cab. Moments later, the driver followed her and took the money back. A brief struggle ensued, and the driver drove off, leaving the victim stranded on the roadway, police said.
During their investigation, detectives learned Shahzad's identity through the assistance of the Taxi Cab Bureau.
Citizens with information about this crime are asked to call Crimestoppers at 822-1111 or toll-free 1-877-903-STOP(7867) or Text your crime tip to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637), Text TELLCS then your crime information. You could receive a cash reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person(s) responsible. You do not have to give your name nor testify to receive the reward. Citizens can also submit an anonymous tip online to Crimestoppers at www.crimestoppersgno.org.