LAWRENCEVILLE — Needing only an early-morning ride to work, a Lawrenceville woman was instead berated with racial slurs and physically beaten by her taxi driver, police said.
A taxi arrived at the Patterson Circle home of the 22-year-old victim, a black woman, just after 5 a.m. that day. William Michael Singelmann — the believed owner of Gwinnett Taxi — was supposed to drive her to work at the Home Depot store less than five miles away. The trip started dicily when the alleged victim’s boyfriend stepped outside to let Singelmann know she would be there momentarily.
“Gosh n---as are never on time,” Singlelmann reportedly responded.
The boyfriend urged the victim not to get in the cab, according to a Gwinnett County police report, but she had to get to work.
During the drive, Singelmann allegedly continued with the racial slurs. Near the intersection of Lawrenceville-Suwanee and Old Norcross roads, he pulled over and told his passenger that “the world need (sic) more white people.” He then punched her in the chest, according to police.
The victim, who didn’t have a cellphone, reportedly told Singelmann she was going to call police when she got to work.
“Who would believe a n---a,” he allegedly replied. When they arrived at Home Depot, he reportedly told the victim he didn’t want her “n---a money.”
Finally at work, the alleged victim told police she was reaching back into the minivan to retrieve her sunglasses when things turned even more violent.
“She said when she reached inside to get her sunglasses the white male driver reached back again towards her and punch(ed) her in the back of her head with a close(d) fist, striking her in a hammer type motion,” the responding police officer wrote. “She said the male driver then spit his saliva from his mouth onto her face.”
The woman was still partly inside the vehicle when Singelmann peeled off, police said. She was able to hold on temporarily but fell from the “fast moving vehicle.”
The driver later identified as Singelmann left the scene.
Gwinnett Taxi operates out of 709 Shannon Way in Lawrenceville, the same address listed for Singelmann’s home.
Singelmann was detained Friday and taken to the Gwinnett County jail. He was charged with felony aggravated assault, simple battery and hit and run, as well as citations including not having a business license or work permit. Jail records show he was later released on more than $23,000 bond.