An account of a possible kidnapping attempt on Emek Refaim Street in Jerusalem’s German Colony is being checked by police.
The young American woman involved spoke to The Times of Israel last week after anonymously posting details of the incident on Facebook. The police have since opened an investigation.
The woman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said she was outside the SOS 24-hour market on Emek Refaim, at 11 pm Monday night. She had ordered a cab from a trusted taxi company, and after withdrawing cash from the store’s ATM, was waiting on the sidewalk, with her baby in a carrier on her chest.
A regular taxicab, its yellow light lit, designating it as an available cab, approached from the other side of the street and made a U-turn, coming to a halt partially on the sidewalk near the woman. There were two men in the front seat, she said. The passenger was wearing a white crocheted head covering, while the driver was dressed in a tracksuit. She said she thought they were Arabs, but as a relatively new resident in Israel, admitted that she can’t always tell Arabs and Jews apart.
“I would never get into a cab with two men,” she said. “My father taught me better than that.”
The driver gestured to her to get into the car, but she gestured in return and told him that she had already ordered a cab. He got out of the car, and was close to the sidewalk when she said she noticed he was holding a gun down by his leg.
She turned and ran into the store. He got back in the cab and drove down the street, she said.
She called her husband, but decided to continue on to her destination. When her cab arrived, she told the driver what had happened, and he told her she should call the police. She ended up continuing on to her planned destination, and it was only upon returning home late that night that she told her husband the full story of what had happened.
They filed a full report with the police in the morning, returning to the market to look at the security camera videotapes to determine whether the two men were visible during her stop at the ATM.
“The police were great; they were very thorough and took down all the details,” she said.
Foreign press police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that the police received an official complaint about the incident, and have opened an investigation.
“We are searching for the suspects as well as looking into the background [of the incident],” said Rosenfeld.
The woman has also posted details of the event on two private groups on Facebook, both of which have been widely disseminated. The police told her to only use cab companies that she knows and trusts, as well as the GetTaxi app.
“It’s really scary,” she said. “You know, Shelly Dadon got into a regular cab, and was killed.”