When David Goldwyn wrote to NOLA.com about the New Orleans cab driver who had returned his wallet, seemingly as a gesture of goodwill, he had no idea that Sohail Khan was an accused rapist. In fact, two days prior to Khan’s Boy Scout deed, he had allegedly raped a woman who’d fallen asleep in the back of his cab, an accusation police say is corroborated by video and GPS evidence.
Fast forward to two days later, when Goldwyn forgot his wallet in Khan’s cab, and suddenly, the (alleged) rapist is a heck of a guy. Why? Because Khan returned Goldwyn’s wallet, refused a reward. Since Goldwyn had no idea the cabbie had been accused of sexual assault, and instead simply thought he was a swell fellah, he wrote:
I write to report an amazing and delightful occurrence: the return of my lost wallet from a New Orleans taxicab…
After confirming who I was and what I lost, [Sohail Khan] drove to my hotel and gave me my wallet. All my cash and credit cards were inside and intact.
Mr. Khan smilingly and graciously refused a cash reward, subsequently telling me, “I represent New Orleans.”
“I took out a $100 bill and without a beat, he says, ‘No, no, no. I don’t want any money. I represent New Orleans. If you can tell somebody about it that would be fine,’” recalled David Goldwyn, 54, a Washington, D.C., energy consultant who was in town for Jazz Fest. “He said, ‘You could write something.’ I said, ‘Who do I write?’ He said, ‘NOLA.com.’”
As if this all wasn’t bad enough, Goldwyn’s letter was published the same day as the story of Khan’s arrest, in which police describe how the cab driver watched the victim fall asleep in the back of his car, then pulled over at a location different than the one she had requested. As a result of the video matching the victim’s testimony, Khan was taken into custody and booked for simple rape and second-degree kidnapping.
On the morality scale, returning a lost wallet is certainly on the “good” side of things. I mean, being caught using somebody’s lost credit card or license is illegal and wrong anyway, but still — it’s obviously better than, say, taking the money and throwing the wallet at a passing biker’s head.
It is not, however, a good enough deed to negate raping somebody. Shockingly, on the morality scale’s awful end, raping an unconscious human being trumps any good karma that comes from driving a dude’s wallet back to him and refusing an award (primarily in order to get good PR). It’s like that episode of Don’t Trust The B when James Van Der Beek goes to the soup kitchen simply to be photographed doing charity work, except in this case, the subject is an alleged rapist with some incredibly incriminating evidence against him. And considering this isn’t his first instance of trapping a woman in his vehicle, here’s to hoping that Khan is unable to ever, ever drive a cab again.