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Man Arrested In Nashville For Kidnapping And Rape Of Woman Who Mistook His Truck For Her Rideshare Vehicle

Police in Nashville said a woman accidentally entered a vehicle belonging to Randall C. Johnson, who took the passenger to a secluded area where she was assaulted.

By Jax Miller
Randall Johnson Pd

Police in Nashville arrested a motorist this week after they say he kidnapped and raped a woman who mistook his truck for a rideshare car she had ordered.

Randall C. Johnson, 49, was arrested on Monday after a citizen’s tip led investigators to the suspect, according to a media release from the Nashville Police Department. Authorities say that on May 24, 2021, a woman, whose name has not been released, mistakenly entered Johnson’s black four-door pickup truck with another male acquaintance at around 2:45 a.m. after they’d left a downtown bar. The pair believed it was their rideshare car, police said.

The driver allegedly drove the pair to a short-term rental, according to the release. As the male passenger exited the vehicle to assist the female passenger, Johnson sped off with the woman in tow. The victim claimed the suspect then drove her to a field some 30 minutes away and raped her. He then drove her back to Nashville where she was dropped off, she said.

Since the attack, sex crimes detectives from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department worked to identify a suspect, who had been described as a white man in his 50s with salt and pepper colored hair. Images of his pickup truck, which was caught on camera, were circulated in the media, The truck bore distinctive features, including a Tennessee American Eagle Foundation vanity license plate, a tool storage box in the pickup’s bed, and a tint strip on the windshield.

The attack is one of the multiple recent assaults where drivers have targeted passengers who mistake their vehicles for rideshares. In July, Nathaniel Rowland was found guilty of murdering Samantha Josephson by stabbing her 120 times after she mistook his car for an Uber driver's vehicle after she and her friend had ordered one. In September 2019, Erin Marshall was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by Joshua Kyam Quaid after mistaking his car for a Lyft ride.

While police in Nashville didn’t specify which rideshare company the unnamed woman planned to use when she was kidnapped, companies like Uber and Lyft have been faced with calls for action after similar assaults.

In July, a San Francisco law firm called for mandatory cameras in ridesharing vehicles, citing nearly 1,000 sexual assault claims made against drivers, according to Newsweek.

“We stand firm in our commitment to support victims and stop sexual violence by working with experts, developing security technology solutions, and setting the standard for transparency and accountability,” Uber said in a statement obtained by Newsweek.

A spokesperson for Lyft echoed Uber’s promises of tech solutions in a statement to the magazine.

“What these women describe is something no one should ever have to endure. Everyone deserves the ability to move about the world safely, yet women still face disproportionate risks,” the Lyft spokesperson said. “We recognize these risks, which is why we are relentless in our work to build safety into every aspect of our work. That means continually investing in new features and policies to protect our riders and drivers.”

Johnson was charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, and aggravated assault. He remains in custody in Nashville. A plea hearing has yet to be announced.

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