The Brooklyn prostitute busted for stealing an off-duty cop’s car claims he was a longtime customer with an unpaid $2,000 tab.
Working girl Taquanna Lawton, in a Rikers Island interview with the Daily News, said she took off in Officer Ali Sheppard’s Jeep once he began aggressively pressing her for sex after they met to settle his outstanding carnal balance.
Sheppard picked the hooker up this past Tuesday night, driving to an ATM in East New York so he could withdraw the cash to cover a portion of his debt from previous sexual encounters, Lawton alleged Saturday.
As they rode to get the money, Lawton charged, the 13-year NYPD veteran was “keeping me against my will” by locking the car doors and accelerating when she tried to exit his 2015 Jeep Wrangler.
“He shouldn’t have done what he did,” said Lawton, 20, who was arrested 24 hours after driving off in Sheppard’s car. “I was relieved I got away from him.”
Lawton — her pink fingernails long and her bleached hair cut short — turned teary at times as she recounted her fateful, final get-together with Sheppard, 38.
The randy cop was eager for sex after picking Lawton up, although she said her lone interest was getting paid. Lawton recounted that she eventually became uncomfortable with Sheppard’s behavior and felt the need to run once left alone in the vehicle.
Her overwhelming emotion while driving off in Sheppard’s car: “Relief.” The cop left her inside in the vehicle with the key in the ignition and the engine running.
A Daily News call for comment from Sheppard was returned — with the caller hanging once he learned it was a reporter.
According to Lawton, she had known Sheppard as a steady customer for 2½ years before they met up to settle up his debt. She was planning to flee upstate before her arrest on a charge of grand larceny auto, with cops recovering the stolen car when they put the cuffs on Lawton.
Sheppard was immediately suspended from the NYPD and will face departmental disciplinary charges in the case.
Lawton contradicted Sheppard’s claim that his police-issued Smith & Wesson was left inside the car and stolen along with his vehicle.
“I didn’t do anything with the gun,” she said. “I don’t know why he said there was a gun there when there wasn’t.”
Lawton also claimed that she suffered a miscarriage while in police custody, although neither the NYPD nor correction officials could confirm her story. A police source did tell the News that Lawton was pregnant and had to go to the hospital on Wednesday night, which is why her arraignment was delayed a day. She is the mother of three kids: A 3-year-old daughter and twin 2-year-olds.
The cop’s dad and neighbors near their Brownsville home were stunned to learn of Sheppard’s dalliance with a prostitute. No criminal charges were brought against Sheppard, but his father remained flummoxed by the hooker story.
“You gotta be f—ing kidding me,” said Eugene Sheppard after the incident. “Excuse my lingo, man. This is a surprise.”