Pedicab driver helps police catch sexual assault suspect

Said Yarow (Austin Police Department)
Said Yarow (Austin Police Department)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A pedicab driver helped Austin police catch an 18-year-old now charged with sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on a bench at the Federal Courthouse downtown.

Police say Said Yarow tried to run from the pedicab driver, but was identified by a W hotel employee ID card in a wallet he dropped while getting away

According to an arrest warrant, surveillance video from the courthouse, which is located at the corner of West Fifth Street and Nueces Street, shows two men carrying the woman and lying her down on the bench around 2 a.m. on May 19. One of the men leaves, but the other man, Yarow, stays with the woman and starts kissing her, according to investigators who viewed the video. From there, the court document say he puts the woman on the ground and begins to sexually assault until a pedicab driver arrives.

The pedicab driver told police he initially offered to give Yarow and the woman a ride home after Yarow told him the woman was his girlfriend. According to the driver, they picked up and put the woman in the pedicab and he started to give both she and Yarow a ride home. When the cab got to Fourth and Guadalupe streets, Yarow took off running. The driver said he asked people at a nearby bus stop to take care of the woman while he pursued the suspect.

Yarow ran down into a creek near Fourth and Rio Grande where his wallet was recovered. The W hotel said on Thursday they are concerned by the allegations but would not comment about Yarow’s employment until the investigation is complete. Police are still investigating where Yarow and the other man may have initially found the woman.

Police later interviewed the woman who said she had consumed alcohol, cough medicine pills and a small amount of marijuana. They said she recalled going to a bar on east Sixth Street but nothing in between that time and when she woke up in the hospital. During the interview from the hospital, police say she was extremely fearful and confused about what happened to her.

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