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Treasure Island police arrest taxi driver in sexual battery of woman in back of cab

A witness saw the taxi in the 10200 block of Gulf Boulevard and saw a man having sexual contact with an unconscious woman in the back seat, reports state.

A taxi driver has been arrested on charges that he sexually battered an unconscious woman in the back of his cab on Treasure Island earlier this month.

Joe Fernandez, 50, was arrested this week on charges of sexual battery, kidnapping and abuse of a disabled person. He was being held at the Pinellas County jail Friday in lieu of $255,000 bail.

According to arrest reports filed by Treasure Island police, the woman was riding in the back of Fernandez’s cab about 3 a.m. on Sept. 11 when she agreed to one kiss with him. At some point, she became unconscious and Fernandez began sexually abusing her, reports state.

A witness saw the cab in the 10200 block of Gulf Boulevard and saw a man having sexual contact with an unconscious woman in the back seat, reports state. The witness pounded on the window and the man got back into the front driver’s seat and drove off, reports state.

A Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy later pulled the cab over and police began investigating the case.

Police said the woman had bruising and told officers that she did not consent to any sexual activity with Fernandez, reports state.

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