x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Tourist tells court of escape from attacker’s car

A Croatian woman who accepted a ride from a stranger said he tried to rape her.

DUBAI // A barefoot tourist managed to escape the car of a man who tried to rape her, seeking help in a nearby restaurant, Dubai Criminal Court heard on Sunday.

Prosecutors said that in the evening of November 25, a Croatian woman, T B, 34, was waiting for a taxi at Dubai Mall when Jordanian defendant M Z offered her a lift.

She took the seat next to him while his friend sat in the back.

M Z, 25, “dropped his friend near a supermarket then moved claiming he lost his way and was looking for parking”, the victim said.

T B told prosecutors she was frightened when the man parked in a remote area and before she could ask him about it he jumped to her seat and started slapping her.

“He sat on my legs to control me then restrained both my hands and started slapping me when I resisted him. He grabbed me by my neck but I managed to open the driver’s door then run out,” she said.

She said she ran barefoot, leaving her handbag behind, to take shelter in a nearby restaurant, where customers called police.

“She wasn’t wearing shoes and her clothes were in a mess, she was crying hysterically and bruised on one of her eyes,” said M A, 38, an Emirati policeman.

He testified that the woman claimed a man had tried to rape her and stolen her bag, which contained two mobile phones, her passport and a flight ticket.

M Z was not in court to enter a plea. The next hearing is on June 18.

salamir@thenational.ae