Winnipeg police investigating incident between elderly Cree woman, cab driver - APTN NewsAPTN News

Winnipeg police investigating incident between elderly Cree woman, cab driver

Brittany Hobson
The Winnipeg police say it is investigating an incident between an elderly Cree woman and a Winnipeg cab driver. 

77-year-old Illa Garson told APTN News the incident involving a Unicity taxi has left her with a dislocated shoulder and a fractured collarbone.

She said on Nov. 19 around 11:45 p.m. she caught a cab outside the Club Regent Casino after an evening of playing bingo by herself.

When they arrived at her place a confusion over payment ensued.

In the past, Garson has made arrangements to leave her cab fare at home. Once she arrives her daughter brings the money to the driver.

Garson said she’s never had any issues with this is before, until now.

On the night in question, Garson waited in the cab for a minute before she decided to get the money herself.

“I said, ‘wait I want to get my money,’ and he started moving,” said Garson.

“He didn’t stop when I said stop. He moved about two houses down and I got off there. He didn’t stop. He just left me there.”

According to Garson, the driver never told her where he was taking her.

Afraid and confused she decided to jump out of the moving vehicle and landed on the road a few feet from her home.

She said the driver then pulled up beside her as she lay on the ground and demanded money.

“He came back and he told me, ‘where’s your money?’” said Garson.

She went on to explain she only had $6 on her.

The driver then drove off and left her on the road.

“He didn’t even touch me or help me,” she said.

After he left Garson tried calling for help but no one could hear her.

She used her cellphone to call her daughter who came and found her outside.

“When I got [home] I couldn’t even get up the stairs,” said Garson. “I said call an ambulance.”

She went to the hospital where she was treated and sent home the next morning.

Her family said this should have never happened.

“She’s 77-years-old and she’s traumatized,” said Garson’s son Gary Garson. “They should be more courteous about who their customers are. This was very unprofessional and dangerous because where was he going to take her if she hadn’t jumped out of the cab?”

The Garsons said the situation has left their mother afraid to take a cab by herself.

“What came into her mind was the missing Indigenous women and girls here in the city. She thought she might be one of them if she hadn’t jumped out,” said Gary Garson.

The family has reached out to Unicity several times but say they haven’t heard back from anyone.

APTN also reached out to Unicity but have yet to receive a response.

The Winnipeg Police Service confirmed to APTN News it is aware of the incident but a spokesperson would only say that it is an ongoing investigation.

Gary Garson told APTN he spoke with someone from the Major Crimes Unit and told them the family would like to press charges.

“I think he should be off the street and not pick up any more people. He might do the same thing that he did with her,” he said.

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15 Responses to “Winnipeg police investigating incident between elderly Cree woman, cab driver”

    Mary December 3, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

    Elder Abuse. Ppl of Winnipeg should boycott Unicity and NOT use their cabs!

    Diane December 1, 2017 at 3:04 am #

    There is a company called ikwe on Facebook that is all women drivers and only has women passengers. They are registered as a non profit well. I’ve taken them lots of times and only had good experiences with them.

    rosa December 1, 2017 at 2:33 am #

    This is shameful,i lived in Wpg and never had this problem,what th heck kinda ppl do they hire these days. These cab drivers have no right to discrimminate,cause they too r a minority.

    Debra November 30, 2017 at 4:59 pm # drivers are so rude ..if they can’t treat anyone with respect ..they should not work at all.. the aggressive ones are the Muslims,they should go back to their country !!

      Michelle December 3, 2017 at 4:45 pm #

      I debated whether or not I should even reply to this stupid comment. But I couldn’t let your discrimination go without at least addressing it.

      In a country where so much racism and discrimination occurs and given the very nature of the possible discrimination towards this poor woman; it is shocking how stupid and discriminatory you are yourself. Profiling against Muslims or immigrants does not have any place in humanity, just as discrimination against Aboriginals have no place in humanity either. You cannot possibly sot back and say discrimination towards Aboriginals is wrong but then think its ok to discriminate against Muslims! Shame on you…

      Like in any culture there are idiots and you are a fine example of a Canadian idiot. I am ashamed to even be in the same category as you. Absolutely disgusting!

    Mary November 30, 2017 at 7:05 am #

    It’s not safe to carry money and it’s not safe not to carry money. I hope that the family charges the cab driver and is dealt with to the fullest extent of the law!

    Laura Campbell November 30, 2017 at 5:42 am #

    I am a safe ride driver, and I would be more than honored to take this lovely lady wherever she needs to go, and treat her with the respect she deserves. Please message me if you would like to give her my information.

    Rose November 30, 2017 at 5:40 am #

    Almost happend to me a few times

    Hans Jay Sanderson November 30, 2017 at 5:33 am #

    I don’t believe being Cree is the big deal here. It’s her age, and the insidiousness, and the calloused action of another human being to another especially in the age of the victim concerned…

    sandra laliberte November 30, 2017 at 5:00 am #

    2 incidents that i heard of her in sask,one involving my daughter and a cab driver in stoon.told a metis official about it so she could bring p at the big meet but not sure what happened after that

    cree November 30, 2017 at 4:22 am #

    Get a lawyer, and lay a suit on him and the company that hires such kids of persons. There is lawyers who well act on your behalf if they get a percentage of what is is received. My mother settled but she received 7 thousand for a cab dumping her as she sat in a wheel chair in a access taxi.

    jon November 30, 2017 at 2:45 am #

    Yeah unicity had an issue with payment the driver kicked my kids and i out 9 o’clock at night after refusing to pay before our destination which i showed him i had a 20 dollar bill in my hand. Scarred my kids because they didnt know why we we’re kicked from the cab. I told my kids we we’re racially and geographically profilled because we live in the north end. This happened this month nov 2017. They do have the right to refuse a fair only if the driver feels threatened. It states in on the Drivers’ Rights and Responsibilities but as passengers we do not have knowledge of our rights as passengers i have emailed the taxi board and told the my kids and i did not meet any of the criteria for have to be kicked out

    Valerie November 30, 2017 at 2:07 am #

    She should call SCO 204-945-8919
    For more info on SCO at: 204-946-1869
    Toll free: 1-866-876-9701

    Marie November 30, 2017 at 12:51 am #

    Glad she did what she did..Like who hires these kind of drivers!! Seriously it’s got to be the Company manager .Hope she gets Justice..Driver no respect for Elderly..Imagine if it was a younger woman .Angry when I read about how women are treated.

      Mary December 2, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

      I hope they don’t let the cab driver get away im sure theres a video camera to identify the driver or sue unicity i would.