Jakarta Police thwarted another rape attempt in a public minivan early on Saturday morning, but were unable to apprehend the would-be rapist, police said.
Second Adj. Insp. Pri Moses, Second Brig. Iswan M. and Brig. Bambang, were patrolling an area near the Halim toll gate at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday when they noticed a suspicious angkot in a rest area.
“They saw a parked M16 minivan which serves the Pasar Minggu-Kampung Melayu route and became suspicious of the activities inside,” Jakarta Police official, Adj. Sr. Comr. Sudarmanto, explained later in the day.
The driver reportedly saw the police and fled the scene. Police gave chase until the minivan ran off the road and got stuck in a trench a short distance from the rest area. “The driver fled the scene,” Sudarmanto said. “In the front seat next to the driver’s seat was a 39-year-old woman,” Sudarmanto said.
The woman told the officers that the driver was about to rape her. She was escorted to the Jakarta Police headquarters to be questioned about the incident, before being taken home.
The would-be rapist is still at large.
Saturday’s attack was the latest in a string of violent crimes targeting female passengers on angkots in the Jakarta area.
In July, a member of the Indonesian Army’s special forces foiled a rape attempt in an angkot.
Five people were arrested in that case, in which a group of four male passengers in a C01 angkot, serving the Ciledug-Kebayoran Lama route, along with the 16-year-old driver, allegedly tried to rape a lone female passenger.
The incident occurred shortly after the victim boarded the vehicle in the Semanggi area at around 11 p.m. on July 23.
In that case, the woman said she started to worry when the driver started asking her strange questions. She became even more worried when the vehicle, which was supposed to be going to Lapangan Banteng, started going in a different direction.
Suddenly, the lights inside the vehicle were turned off and the men in the back attacked her.
Army special forces Sgt. Nicholas Sandi was driving by with his girlfriend and heard her screams. He followed the angkot on his motorcycle and ordered the driver to stop.
Seeing that they wouldn’t be able to escape, the angkot driver and his accomplices pushed the victim out of the minivan.
Nicholas’s girlfriend helped the victim while he continued the chase. He detained the driver while the others escaped with the victim’s cellphone.
In April, four men involved in the gang rape and murder of a female university student on an angkot last year were sentenced to life in prison.
Irwan Saleh, 22, Rohman Setiawan, 20, M. Fahri, 19, and Afriadi, 22, were found guilty of raping and killing Livia Pavita Soelistio, 21, in West Jakarta.
Prosecutors demanded life sentences at the start of the trial and judges saw no reason to lower the sentences.
The angkot’s driver raped Livia with three other men after picking her up in front of Bina Nusantara University in on Aug. 16, 2011. The men then killed her and dumped her body in Cisauk, Tangerang.
In January, an 18-year-old university student was raped in an angkot. No arrests were made.