Fadil Rashead was presented with the VicPD Civic Service Award on Friday after he helped police apprehend a dangerous, wanted sex offender who took a ride in his cab. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Victoria taxi driver lauded for helping police apprehend dangerous sex offender

Fadil Rashead says receiving the VicPD award was one of the proudest moments in his life

A Victoria taxi driver credited with capturing a dangerous sex offender was awarded a Civic Service Award from the Victoria Police Department on Friday.

Fadil Rashead was driving his Blue Bird taxi Sept. 27 when he unknowingly picked up high-risk, wanted sex offender Scott Jones, 56, who had been described by VicPD in a series of alerts to the public.

Jones asked Rashead to take him to the Superstore at the Westshore Town Centre and buy him some clothes. Rashead eventually agreed, but when he left the taxi with Jones inside, called police. An RCMP officer arrived and recognized Jones from one of the VicPD alerts.

When Jones saw the police officer he started attempting to light the inside of the car on fire, but West Shore RCMP Const. Meighan Massey smashed the window of the cab and placed him under arrest.

At an Oct. 2 ceremony, Rashead, who emigrated from Syria in 1989, was surrounded by family as he accepted the award from VicPD Chief Del Manak.

“I felt it was my duty as a Canadian citizen,” he said. “I am very proud to do what I did.

“I would do it again. I thank everyone in the whole community, I think they would do the same thing. If they are good citizens they would do the same thing.”

READ ALSO: West Shore RCMP locate dangerous, ‘high-risk sex offender’ thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Manak said he was particularly touched by Rashead’s modesty. The taxi driver’s phone saved the police force an immeasurable amount in time and resources and helped get a dangerous sex offender off the streets.

“He did the right thing, and we were really, really on the hunt for this violent sex offender who did pose a significant risk to our communities,” Manak said.

“It’s incredible for me to meet him and recognize the importance of what he did on Sunday. The fact that he had the presence of mind to recognize who he had in his taxi, went in the store and at personal risk ends up making that call to 911.”

Before his arrest on Sunday, Jones was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for being unlawfully at large.

He was convicted in 1982 for rape, gross indecency and attempted rape of three girls aged 11, 12 and 13. In 1986, while on parole, he was charged with three counts of sexual assault with a weapon and three counts of unlawfully confining. He pleaded guilty to the sexual assaults and assault with a weapon and was determined by a judge to be a dangerous offender, a designation used for the most violent offenders and sexual predators in the country.

The circumstances of Jones’s release are unknown to VicPD, Manak said, but he hopes the utmost care is used by Corrections Service Canada in determining parole eligibility.

“The worst would have been if Mr.Jones had re-offended while we were looking for him,” he said. “That would have been catastrophic.”

Jones is now in the custody and faces charges for mischief, damage and being unlawfully at large.

READ ALSO: Veteran escapes jail time after Greater Victoria judge rules PTSD led him to child porn


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
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Taxi driver Fadil Rashead celebrated receiving the VicPD Civic Service Award with his wife Salam Rashead, daughter Hanadi Ponsford and eight-month-old grandson Musa. VicPD Chief Del Manak (far right) presented Fadil with the award after he helped police apprehend a dangerous sex offender. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

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