A man who got into a young woman's car and forced her to drive him around Christchurch has had a police warning.
Brooke, who wanted only her first name used, said she was told by police that the man would not be charged because he was "from a good family" and a criminal conviction would prevent him from pursuing a car-racing career.
Brooke, 19, was stopped at the Aikmans Rd-Papanui Rd traffic lights when the man opened her front passenger door and asked if she would be his taxi driver.
The man, whom she did not know, appeared to be intoxicated and got in before she could respond.
She was forced to drive him to pick up two friends, then drop all three at a Packe St, St Albans, house on the night of February 5.
During the ride he played with her phone, pulled the steering wheel and touched her on the leg, saying that she had a hole in her tights. He threw $20 on her lap at the end.
Detective Senior Sergeant Tony Hill said a kidnapping charge had been considered, but an independent legal review found the matter did not reach the threshold to warrant a criminal charge.
While the man's actions had intimidated the victim, there was no criminal intent. The man had also been remorseful. Hill said the warning, issued at the weekend, would stay on the man's record for "a significant period of time".
If the man was to reoffend, police could use this incident as evidence.
"His friends pointed out it wasn't appropriate when they realised he didn't know Brooke," he said.
The woman said she was disappointed it had taken so long to get an outcome and felt the incident had not been taken seriously enough.
She was reminded of the incident daily as she drove that way to university and now thought constantly about her personal safety.
She was satisfied a police warning would mean that it was at least on the man's record if he were to reoffend.
"My dad and my boyfriend wanted him to be charged," she said.
Hill said the incident was isolated, and people could not assume they could get in a stranger's car and get a ride somewhere.
He said it was a reminder that people driving alone late at night in areas with bars and hotels should keep their doors locked.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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