Taxi driver charged with Milford sex assault: ‘I’m very innocent’
MILFORD — A Bridgeport man accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl he met while working as an Uber driver plied his victim with Four Loko and marijuana before raping her at Walnut Beach, according to an arrest warrant.
But the suspect, 44-year-old Tyrone Craddock, says he’ll be exonerated.
“I’m very innocent and I have a lot of evidence to back me up,” he said after being reached by phone Tuesday.
Craddock has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. Police arrested him June 24.
He said Tuesday that he couldn’t elaborate on what the exculpatory evidence was over the phone because he said the line was bugged, but he vowed to take the case to trial.
“I want to go to trial so everyone can get exposed,” he said.
According to the warrant, the victim of the alleged assault told police she met Craddock through the Uber ridesharing app.
The victim told police that after using Craddock as an Uber driver, he gave her a business card for his own personal taxi service that he said would be cheaper for her to use than Uber.
An Uber representative said Tuesday that Craddock is not an Uber driver anymore.
The girl told police she used Craddock’s taxi service for nearly two years, and that sometimes Craddock didn’t charge her. But she said she found it weird that he would want to hang out with her and her friends or show up uninvited at parties and other gatherings where they were.
The victim told police he would also give them alcohol and marijuana while encouraging them to experiment sexually. If they didn’t, she said, he would become angry or call them “buzz-kills.”
The warrant says that on a Friday in May, Craddock drove the girl and two friends to Walnut Beach. While there, the girl told police, Craddock allegedly tried to unbutton one of her friend’s pants inside the car. Later, she said Craddock sexually assaulted her while the two were standing outside the vehicle.
One of the girls said she confronted Craddock, who allegedly became irate and drove away with the two alleged victims, leaving their friend behind. Craddock eventually drove the girls home about 20 minutes later, according to the warrant.
The warrant says one of the victims identified Craddock, and another picked him out of a photo line-up conducted by a detective.
Craddock, who has posted a $75,000 bond, is represented by a public defender, according to court records, but on Sept. 6 asked for a new public defender to be appointed.
When a judge denied the request, Craddock asked for a one-year continuance to hire a private attorney. The judge instead gave him six weeks.
Craddock said Tuesday he has retained a new lawyer, but declined to identify the attorney.
He is scheduled to return to court Oct. 18.