JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Johnson City police arrested a Mississippi man for sexual battery Friday after he allegedly fondled a Lyft driver during an Aug. 14 trip from Bristol, Tennessee, to Johnson City.
A JCPD news release sent Wednesday morning states police identified Taylor Capers, 33, of Hattiesburg as a suspect after several days of investigating.
According to an affidavit filed with Washington County Sessions Court by JCPD investigator Shane Williams, the victim called police at around 4:30 a.m. Aug. 14, and they met her at North Roan Street and Sunset Drive. She said after picking up the two passengers, “she thought something wasn’t right because she had no precise destination to drop them off.”
When the car reached Johnson City, the affidavit states, she heard sounds from the back seat and saw the male in that seat (not Capers) performing a lewd act.
The man later identified as Capers was in the front seat and took the woman’s purse from her lap and touched her in an inappropriate manner, she told police. She reported that she pushed the man’s hand away, stopped the car near the North Roan Street underpass at Interstate 26 and demanded they get out of the car, which they reportedly did.
The victim then pushed an ADT panic button that is included with the Lyft app, drove away and met police a safe distance away from the men.
Capers was arraigned Monday and released from the Washington County Detention Center on a $5,000 bond. That amount was lowered from an initial $35,000 with the condition that Capers have no contact with the victim.
The sexual battery charge is a Class E felony, which is punishable by one to six years in jail.
Capers’ next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 26. The police report states the investigation is ongoing.