Crime & Courts

Duke police charge man with touching female student

Ahmed Hezam
Ahmed Hezam

A 45-year-old man was charged early Friday with second-degree sexual assault in an incident in which Duke University police said a female student was touched in a taxi cab she had taken to campus from a local bar.

Ahmad Hezam was arrested at his apartment at 1315 Moreene Road, Duke officials said. He was being held in the Durham County Detention Center on $500,000 bail, records showed.

The woman had told police that a male driver touched her while they were on Science Drive on the school's West Campus after leaving the Shooters II club on West Morgan Street near East Campus about 1:45 a.m. Thursday.

Officials also warned students that they should only use licensed taxis, and drivers of those cabs have to display their licenses with their names and photos.

The city said that Hezam holds a valid taxi driver permit. He renewed it for a year in March, an official said and his permit is to drive for Falcon Taxi Service.

She said the fact of Hazem’s arrest had been referred to police who enforce taxi and oparking regulations and to the city attorney’s office.

It was unclear Friday if the city can or should take any action because of a driver’s arrest.