A Houston-area car salesman is cited with assault. He's accused of groping a female customer during a test drive.
The woman said she was looking at an SUV at Smart Choice Auto on the Northwest Freeway near Jones Road. She took the vehicle out for a test drive with car salesman Muhammad Nadeem Mian.
"We weren't even in the car for probably about 10 seconds and he had already put his hand on my inner thigh, touching me inappropriately. And I asked him to move and he's like, 'Oh, I'm sorry.' You know, like it wasn't a big deal," said the woman, describing what she says happened on Aug. 22.
KPRC Local 2 not revealing the woman's identity because the Jersey Village police report alleges Mian touched her "private parts." She said that even when she asked him to stop, he did it twice more.
"And he's like, 'Well, I got you a really good deal and I just figured that you would bring me something for appreciation or give me something,'" the woman told police in a sworn statement and Local 2.
"She came in and she reported the offensive conduct," confirmed Sgt. C.J. Harper.
Jersey Village police took her complaint, interviewed Mian and gave him a ticket for assault, a class-C misdemeanor.
"There's no statutes prohibiting him from selling cars or from the general manager or owner not taking action against the offending employee," explained. Harper.
Local 2 consumer investigator Amy Davis met 29-year-old Mian at the car lot and he answered her questions.
"She said that you put your hand between her legs three times during the test drive, even when she asked you not to," Davis said to Mian.
"She's lying," Mian replied.
"Why would she lie?" asked Davis.
"I don't know why she's lying. I don't have any idea," Mian said.
Mian denies the allegations. He's hired an attorney and said he will plead not guilty in court later this month.
"I want to make sure that he doesn't do this to someone else because he was so confident and bold, like it was nothing to him. Like it was natural to do this to girls, I guess," the woman told Davis.
"I don't know ... have any idea why she did like that," said Mian.
The general manager of Smart Choice Auto said he takes the allegation very seriously, but right now it's the salesman’s word against the customer's. He said they have changed their policy so that female customers are never alone in a vehicle with any employees. They will wait to see what happens in court with this case later this month before they make any decisions about Mian's employment.
An attorney representing Smart Choice Auto sent us a letter that reads, in part:
"Naturally, Smart Choice is concerned by the assault allegation, and is sensitive to the safety of its customers as well as its employees. Smart Choice recognizes that it has no authority over how you tell the story, but we hope your presentation, as well as the perception of your viewers, clearly reflects that except for the two individuals in the vehicle, no one can be sure what really occurred. Smart Choice will continue to protect its customers and employees, and will withhold judgment of the incident until the judicial process runs its course, unless other facts come to light beforehand."