(Cook County)-Man posing as Uber driver picked up women outside bars and raped them, prosecutors say

BYMINYVONNE BURKE

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, September 29, 2017, 12:10 PM

A Chicago man faces charges after prosecutors say he allegedly pretended to be an Uber driver to pick up five different women and then sexually assault them.

Musaab Afandi was initially arrested in March by Stokie Police after two women said the 33-year-old man attacked them after posing as their Uber driver. Those cases are still pending.

On Wednesday, Afandi appeared in court for a bond hearing after DNA testing allegedly linked him to three additional attacks, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Some of the sexual assault cases date back to last year.

Assistant State's Attorney Jillian Anselmo said during Wednesday's hearing that one 21-year-old female victim said she was attacked by Afandi in April of last year after he picked her up at Mullen's Bar in Wrigleyville. The woman said when Afandi pulled up she asked him if he was her Uber driver, CBS Chicago reports.

When he told her he was, the woman said she climbed into the back seat. After realizing that Afandi was not taking her to her destination, the woman asked him to pull over.

She told investigators that he stopped on a dark street, climbed into the back seat and raped her.

The woman was able to escape and called a friend. She then took a taxi home and went to the hospital the following day. DNA from the rape kit matched Afandi's, CBS reports.

A second victim told investigators that she was attacked by Afandi in December after leaving her job's Christmas party in River North. The 27-year-old woman said she got into what she thought was a taxi, driven by Afandi. She said she woke up in the back of the car naked with Afandi on top of her. The woman was able to escape before he sexually assaulted her.

Authorities said photos and a video of the woman were allegedly found on Afandi's cell phone.

In January, Afandi allegedly attacked another woman. The third victim said she was waiting with friends outside Old Crow Smokeshouse in Wrigleyville. After her friends left in a separate, official Uber, the 25-year-old woman said Afandi pulled up and she got in the backseat of the car. The woman said Afandi pulled onto a side street and raped her. After escaping, she ran to a nearby residence for help. DNA from a sexual assault kit was also allegedly linked to the phony driver.

Afandi is charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated criminal sexual assault. He was denied bail in Wednesday's hearing. DNA Info reports that an Uber spokeswoman urged riders to check the company's public awareness campaign to avoid getting into the wrong vehicle.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/fake-uber-driver-charged-raping-women-article-1.3530197

LYFT AND UNACCOMPANIED MINOR TRIP DEATH

September 22, 2017 

A 13-year-old Florida girl riding Lyft alone in the middle of the night was killed when her 17-year-old driver ran off a wet highway into some trees. The 17-year-old driver had only a learner’s permit; he was using his mother’s Lyft account to make money.

The driver picked up the 13-year-old girl in her pajamas in front of her house at 1:30 a.m. She was sneaking out to a boy’s house. The girl’s grandmother was sleeping while her mother, a nurse, was working the overnight shift. Reportedly, the child died on the return trip when the 17-year-old picked her back up at 5:30 a.m. and was driving her home.

What a disaster.

The girl’s mother is reportedly suing Lyft for violating its own policy which prohibits unaccompanied minors.

Lawsuit technicalities aside, this extremely sad case involves circumstances we’ve seen repeatedly:

Uber and Lyft drivers ferry unaccompanied minors all the time. The companies say it’s against their policy, but haven’t made any significant efforts to stop it. “They know what’s happening and are looking the other way,” says Harry Campbell at The Rideshare Guy.

Busy parents = profit.

The 17-year-old Lyft driver borrowed his mother’s app login to make money. Sometimes it’s friends who borrow the app. Uber and Lyft are aware of this, too. Obviously, these unauthorized replacement drivers have never received any background check and yet repeatedly slip behind the wheel.

More unfortunate patterns: Passengers don’t reliably check to make sure the Uber or Lyft driver’s name, face, car and license plate matches what’s provided by the app. Obviously, this 13-year-old girl sneaking out of her house in her pajamas didn’t even notice her driver wasn’t a woman.

Finally, the driver and passenger may have arranged a cash trip here. Else how did the same driver come to pick up the same girl four hours later at 5:30 a.m.?  Did the Lyft app coincidentally summon him again? Or, did he simply arrange to pick her up later? If there was a verbal arrangement, this may have been a cash trip performed outside of the Lyft app. And if this was a cash trip, there was no insurance coverage whatsoever on this ride. Meaning: If this car had hit a family of six, instead of a tree, any damages to the family could be uncompensated by insurance.

There are so many things wrong with an unscreened 17-year-old with a learner’s permit picking up an unaccompanied 13-year-old girl in the middle of the night that it boggles the mind.

There’s really only two things for sure about this trip:

#1 Lyft profited financially;

#2 Lyft and Uber should take active steps to ban children riding unaccompanied.

Source: http://www.whosdrivingyou.org/blog/lyft-and-unaccompanied-minor-trip-death

Chicago-Prosecutors: Lyft driver accused of zip-tying, sexually assaulting passenger

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas  Chicago Tribune 07/21/2017

A driver of a ride-sharing service appeared in court Friday on charges that he kidnapped a customer, physically restrained her with a zip tie, and sexually assaulted and robbed her, all at knifepoint, according to prosecutors.

Angelo McCoy, 48, is being held in lieu of $900,000 bail in the July 7 crime, in which a 25-year-old Chicago woman was restrained and attacked, authorities said.

McCoy was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, armed robbery and unlawful restraint, police and prosecutors said.

The woman used the Lyft app on her phone to order a ride home from a bar because she felt she had had too much to drink and was picked up near the intersection of Hubbard and Clark streets about 11 p.m., Assistant State's Attorney Melissa Howlett told the judge.

Investigators would later learn the driver entered a pickup time of 11:06 p.m. and the system showed a drop-off time of 11:11 p.m., when in actuality the woman would be held against her will until after 1 a.m., Howlett said. 

The woman’s friend walked out to the curb with her and watched as she got into a white 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUV that matched the description of the Lyft vehicle that appeared on the woman’s mobile app, according to Howlett.

The woman fell asleep in the back seat of the SUV, and when she awoke, she realized the vehicle wasn’t headed in the direction of her home. She asked to get out of the vehicle, but McCoy wouldn’t let her, court documents show.  

He pulled into an alley and stopped the vehicle. The woman saw three people in the distance and screamed for help, but no one responded. McCoy then entered the back seat of the SUV, grabbed the woman from behind by her throat and pushed her down on her seat, according to Howlett.

He tied the woman’s hands together behind her back with a zip tie, police said, and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

The driver is additionally accused of sexually assaulting the woman, stealing her cellphone and driver’s license and demanding she give him money despite her pleas that she didn’t have any, prosecutors said.

After about two hours as a captive, she saw a chance to jump out of the SUV, near Belmont and Ashland avenues. She got out at a red light and ran straight to a car behind them, and that driver came to her aid, according to Howlett.

The stranger not only allowed her into his car but also offered to drive her home and persuaded her to first report the attack and took her to the 19th District police station. The woman was taken to Thorek Memorial Hospital, where she was examined for her injuries.

McCoy's next court appearance was set for Aug. 9, according to records from the Cook County sheriff’s office. 

"These allegations are sickening and horrifying,'' Lyft spokesman Scott Coriell said in an emailed statement. "As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we deactivated the driver’s account and did everything we could to assist law enforcement,'' he said in the statement. "Our concern is with the victim and her well-being. We stand ready to assist law enforcement in their investigation.''

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-lyft-driver-arrested-after-zip-tying-sexually-assaulting-passenger-20170721-story.html

 

 

Uber Driver Charged With Assaulting Middletown Woman

The driver started kissing the 23-year-old woman and asked her to stay in the car, police say. She was able to escape and call for help.

By Margo Sullivan (Patch Staff) - Updated September 25, 2017 9:22 pm ET

MIDDLETOWN, RI—A Providence man was charged with Simple Assault or Battery on Sunday at 2:05 a.m. after he allegedly grabbed a woman in his car and started kissing her. The woman told police she had called Uber and arranged to be picked up at 41 North restaurant in Newport. She got into the front passenger seat, and the driver, Richard Jimenez, "began to hit on her," she told police. He allegedly told her she was pretty and asked for her telephone number. When they arrived at her street, she asked him to pull over so she could leave. He pulled her head toward him and started kissing her, she said. She protested and managed to get away. Fearful he would see where she lived, she walked into an apartment building a couple of doors away from her home and called her boyfriend. He called police.

Middletown police investigated and then stopped Jimenez, 32, on Lawrence Street. He denied dropping off anyone there and said he was just driving around. Later, he said he had dropped off a passenger. Police asked the woman to identify the suspect, and she confirmed he was the driver.

https://patch.com/rhode-island/middletown/uber-driver-charged-assaulting-middletown-woman

Woman Reports Assault by Uber Driver After Refusing Sexual Favor


September 26th, 2017, 3:19 PM 

A 22-year-old Inkster woman said she was attacked by her Uber driver after rejecting his demand for sexual favors in lieu of a tip last Friday morning around 2 a.m., WXYZ reports. 

Ashley Johnson said after he made the sexual demand, she was horrified and immediately declined.

She said she would give him a tip after getting home. He agreed.

But then he changed his mind and ordered her out of the car a few houses from her home, she said.

"I opened the door and he grabbed my arm and sped off," she tells Ameera David of WXYZ.  "But my leg was outside the door, dragging me down until my arm got out the car."

She said she was left with road rash on her knee and torn muscles in her arm.

Johnson tells the station she used another person's phone to summon the car. She says she didn't know the owner of the phone. 

She said she tried for several days to contact Uber, without luck. She finally got through and Uber said it was investigating the matter.

Uber issues a statement: 

"What's been described is horrible and has no place on the Uber app or anywhere. We take all allegations very seriously and are looking further into this report."

 

http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/18430/women_says_she_was_assaulted_by_uber_driver_after_refusing_sexual_favor#.Wc0Tm2hSyM8

Uber to lose its license to operate in London

CHICAGO NEWS 09/22/2017, 08:20am

LONDON — Uber’s license to operate in London won’t be renewed because its practices endanger public safety and security, the local regulator said Friday, in a blow to a company already facing big questions over its corporate culture.

Transport for London says the company, whose app is used by 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers in London, isn’t “fit and proper” to hold a license to operate a private-hire vehicle service.

“TfL considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” the regulator said in a statement.

Uber was first licensed to operate in the city in 2012 and will see its current license expire on Sept. 30. The company said it plans to appeal the regulator’s decision, and can continue to operate until the appeals process is exhausted.

For its part, Uber accused the city of caving in to special interests “who want to restrict consumer choice.”

“Uber operates in more than 600 cities around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities here in the U.K.,” the company said. “This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers.”

Uber, founded in 2010 in San Francisco, has often faced opposition as it expanded. Taxi drivers complain that Uber drivers don’t have to comply with the same licensing standards, giving the ride-hailing service an unfair advantage and placing the public at risk.

The company, which provides a smartphone application that connects passengers with drivers who work as independent contractors, argues it isn’t a traditional transportation company.

In its decision, Transport for London singled out Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offenses and how it conducts background checks on drivers. TfL also took issue with Uber’s explanation of software that could be used to block regulators from gaining full access to the app and “prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he supported the decision, saying any operator of taxi services in the city “needs to play by the rules.”

“Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security,” he said. “I fully support TfL’s decision — it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security.”

Police in London accused Uber last month of not reporting a sexual assault by a driver on a passenger, allowing the driver to strike again. Metropolitan Police Inspector Neil Billany suggested in a letter that the company was putting concerns for its reputation over public safety.

At the time, Uber said it was surprised by the letter and that it had a good working relationship with the police.

But the company has been dogged by questions on its workplace culture. In July, former CEO Travis Kalanick resigned following criticism of his management style. Some 20 people, including some managers, were fired in June amid allegations of sexual harassment and bullying.

Its aggressive corporate culture has resulted in litigation around the world. John Colley, a strategy professor at Warwick Business School, said poor values ultimately bring companies down. Uber is now effectively banned from France, Spain and Belgium, and it is facing litigation and investigations around the world, he said.

“There is a very long list of businesses who have suffered for failing to uphold the level of values necessary,” Colley said. “Until Uber gets this message then it will suffer lost trade as a result of its deteriorating reputation.”

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/uber-to-lose-its-license-to-operate-in-london/

Mpls. police warn about rideshare groping incidents

 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KARE) - Minneapolis police are asking people using Uber and Lyft to use caution after a recent series of incidents involving drivers touching passengers inappropriately.

In the last two weeks, four different Uber and Lyft passengers called police saying they'd been sexually groped by their rideshare driver, according to Minneapolis police Sgt. Catherine Michal.

Three of the four people who were groped were sitting in the front seat at the time of the assault, said Michal.

Two of the gropings happened in Uptown, one was Downtown near Target Field, and the fourth incident was in southeast Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota, said Michal.

"The person that is getting the ride has either been intoxicated or has had alcohol in their system or has been distracted due to other things that are going on in their personal life," said Michal of the four recent incidents.

The victims include three women and a man, said Michal. Now police are trying to determine whether the cases involve the same suspect.

"The descriptions that have been given have been a black male, mid 20s, early 30s, and/or a Somali male," said Michal.

Police say if caught, the suspect will face criminal sexual conduct charges.

Police say they hope Uber and Lyft passengers will use a few safety precautions to prevent a similar incident.

"We appreciate that people aren't drinking and driving and that they're taking a ride, but if you're by yourself, we definitely recommend that you sit in the back seat, and if you're with other people, always stick together," said Michal.

Both Uber and Lyft put their drivers through a background check that includes a motor vehicle record review as well as a criminal background check. Drivers for both Uber and Lyft must have a criminal record that is free of felony, violent crime, or sexual offense within the last seven years.

http://www.valleynewslive.com/content/news/Mpls-police-warn-about-rideshare-groping-incidents-447254203.html

Lynwood man accused of driving stolen car for Uber in DeKalb

 

By CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN

Sept. 18, 2017

DeKALB – A Lynwood man who police say was driving for Uber in a stolen vehicle was arrested Sunday, according to a news release from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

William S. Hall, 48, of the first block of Ellen Drive, was pulled over about 2 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Sleepy Hollow Lane and Pickwick Circle, according to the release.

The release said deputies pulled him over because the vehicle was listed as stolen out of Cook County. Hall was taken to the DeKalb County Jail, and his passengers were released without charges, according to the release. Hall was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, typically punishable by three to seven years in prison, and criminal trespass to a motor vehicle.

http://www.daily-chronicle.com/2017/09/17/lynwood-man-accused-of-driving-stolen-car-for-uber-in-dekalb/a2lhre1/

UBER SUED 435 TIMES IN 2017… AND COUNTING

September 7, 2017

Wrap your head around this: Uber was sued more than 1.8 times a day between 1/1/17 and 8/23.

That’s 435 lawsuits and counting, so far, in 2017.

Enough to make anyone weak in the knees.

This statistic courtesy of Courthouse News, which has reporters around the U.S. visit federal and regional courthouses to analyze records.

According to news analysis of these suits, Uber has been sued on claims of negligence, failure to train drivers, exaggerating the quality of the background checks it claims to perform on drivers, numerous injury accidents (including an alleged death caused by an Uber driver using his phone while driving), class actions involving how Uber treats its drivers, and failing to serve disabled passengers.

In other words: business as usual for Uber.

But maybe, maybe, that’s about to change with the introduction of a new CEO.

After all: These lawsuits are bad business.

Right?

They’ve got to be bad for digestion.

Here’s the thing. Uber has stubbornly opposed more stringent background checks for drivers and even refused to conduct in-person hiring despite voluminous passenger assaults. This ornery corporate stance has fertilized the grounds for lawsuits way past fecund.

By embracing more rigorous driver screening, Uber’s new CEO could improve the corporation’s passenger safety and reputation and reduce the risk and price tag associated with these mushrooming lawsuits.

We’ll see.

 

http://www.whosdrivingyou.org/blog/uber-sued-435-times-in-2017-and-counting

Uber driver accused of raping passenger in police custody

UPDATED: SEP 08 2017 10:22AM EDT

DETROIT (WJBK) - An Uber driver accused of raping a 21-year-old woman Thursday night has turned himself in to Detroit Police.

Investigators say 29-year-old Forid Ahmed, who was driving a gray 2013 Toyota Camry, picked up the 21-year- old woman up in the area of 5000 Cass.

The victim told police he drove her to an unknown location where he assaulted her.

The woman was able to escape his car in the area of 31st and Devereaux.

Detroit Police tell us Ahmed turned himself in Thursday night after seeing his picture in television news broadcast reports. Police say he was accompanied by his attorney. 

http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/uber-driver-accused-of-raping-passenger-in-police-custody

Lyft driver charged with pointing gun at passengers in Lake View

 

CHICAGO NEWS 09/02/2017, 04:43pm

A Lyft driver was charged with pointing a gun at two passengers early Friday in the Lake View neighborhood on the North Side.

Jaleesa Rance, 25, was driving two men, ages 31 and 26, when she got into an argument with them about 2 a.m. in the 400 block of West Melrose, according to Chicago Police. During the argument, she pulled out a handgun, pointed it at the men and ordered them to get out of the car.

After the men got out, Rance drove away, police said. Officers found her in the 3600 block of North Broadway and arrested her after she was positively identified by the victims, who both signed criminal complaints.

Rance, who lives in Aurora, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of unlawful use of a weapon, all misdemeanors, police said. She has a valid concealed-carry license.

She appeared in court Friday and was released on a $1,000 bond, according to Cook County court records. Her next court date was scheduled for Sept. 11 before Judge Anthony John Calabrese.

“The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we have a strict no weapons policy for both drivers and passengers,” company spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna said in a statement.

LaManna said Lyft has not been contacted by police about the incident.

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/ride-share-driver-charged-with-pointing-gun-at-passengers-in-lake-view/

Woman Says Uber Driver Pushed Her From Speeding Car

 

ROBERT KAHN   August 22, 2017

VENTURA, Calif. (CN) — A Southern California woman claims in courtthat an Uber driver pushed her from a speeding car when, alarmed by his erratic behavior, she asked him to let her out.

Katherine Conner sued Uber Technologies and Rasier on Monday in Ventura County Superior Court. She seeks punitive damages on nine counts, including assault, battery, false imprisonment, gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Uber, whose corporate culture has come under intense public and legal scrutiny this year, could not be reached for comment after business hours Monday.

Conner’s 13-page lawsuit is short on specifics, aside from the frightening ride she says happened “(w)ithin the year last past,” with an Uber “driver defendant” in the city of Ventura.

She says when the Uber driver picked her up he headed in the wrong direction. When she complained he told her “in essence, that he was taking a shortcut, according to the complaint. When it became clear he was not taking her where she wanted to go, Conner says, she told him she wanted to get out of the car.

“At that point, the driver defendant became agitated and started driving fast,” making her “fear that the driver defendant intended to take her somewhere other than the destination and do her harm.”

She screamed at him, insisting that he let her out, Conner says, but he ignored her pleas to let her out of the car, “and, in fact, increased its speed in response and began shoving, pushing and assaulting and battering (her).”

The assault culminated, she says, “as the driver defendant was making a turn, and while the vehicle was still moving, the driver defendant reached over, opened the passenger-side door, forcibly pushed plaintiff Conner out of the subject vehicle and drove away.”

She had to go to a hospital emergency room and get continuing treatment for physical and psychological trauma, Conner says.

She is represented by Lewis Adelson with Costell & Cornelius, of Santa Monica.

Uber has been sued at least 433 times this year, according to the Courthouse News database, on claims of negligence, failure to train, exaggerating the background checks it claims to do on its drivers, many injury accidents, including an alleged death caused by an Uber driver using his mobile phone while driving, and class actions about its treatment of drivers, including failing to secure workers’ compensation insurance for them, and failing to serve disabled passengers. Its CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down after repeated complaints about an abusive workplace and a major shareholder recently sued the company to get Kalanick booted from the board.

https://www.courthousenews.com/woman-says-uber-driver-pushed-speeding-car/

Uber driver LAUGHS as he brags about how he’s tempted to rape ‘beautiful women’ who get in his car

CAB 'RAPE' SHAME 

The shocking clip, recorded by a passenger, emerges just days after police claimed Uber was failing to report sex attacks by its drivers.

By Sun Reporter

20th August 2017, 8:57 pm

He is heard on the footage saying: “She was wearing one skirt, god her legs, she was so beautiful.

“I can understand why a lot of men, when they have that opportunity they are tempted to do some silly things, like rape the woman or just do what they are not supposed to do.

“Because I was honestly just, my mind was just there.”

The shocking clip emerged just days after police claimed Uber was failing to report sex attacks by its drivers.

It was filmed by the passenger, 26, at the start of a 23-minute journey from Crystal Palace to Croydon in South London.

He responds to the driver: “No way f*** that, I can’t get with that raping s***."

The passenger said: “I felt so disgusted. It made me think about my sisters and family who are woman who are using this app.”

Uber general manager Tom Elvidge said it had dropped the driver.

He said: “We were shocked at the abhorrent comments.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4251165/uber-driver-caught-bragging-how-he-was-tempted-to-rape-a-passenger/

Uber driver allegedly rapes unconscious Manhattan woman in his home after she falls asleep in his car

 

BYGRAHAM RAYMAN

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, August 18, 2017, 4:00 PM

An East Village woman suffered a terrifying ordeal Thursday when she passed out in an Uber car and the driver took her to his apartment and raped her, police sources said.

The 31-year-old victim called for an Uber at E. 52nd St. and 2nd Ave. about 2 a.m. She told the 47-year-old driver to take her home and then fell asleep in the car, sources said.

The twisted cabbie took her to his Flushing apartment and raped her while she was still unconscious, sources said. She woke up, realized with shock that she wasn’t home and confronted the driver.

“I used protection — please don't call police,” he said according to police sources.

She fled his home and reported what happened to police she found nearby on 41st Road and College Point Blvd.

She told police she had a few drinks before hailing the ride and gave no consent for sex, sources said. Medics took her to Bellevue Hospital for examination.

Cops have identified the driver and are trying to locate him, sources said.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/uber-driver-rapes-manhattan-woman-falls-asleep-car-article-1.3423665

Uber driver locked 19-year-old passenger in car, demanded sex

 

Muhammad Fahim, 44, faces charges of unlawful restraint for locking a passenger in his vehicle and demanding that she have sex with him.

(COOK COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

BYMEGAN CERULLO

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Sunday, August 20, 2017, 10:55 PM

An Uber driver in Chicago allegedly locked a 19-year old passenger in his car and demanded that she have sex with him, authorities said.

Muhammad Fahim, 44, was ordered held on $100,000 bail Saturday for three counts of unlawful restraint in connection to the July 4 incident, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Fahim was charged in the incident after police stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation last week.

The victim requested an Uber, but her request was somehow deleted, prosecutors said.

The woman volunteered to pay for her ride in cash, but Fahim instead demanded sex from her, Assistant State’s Attorney Mikah Soliunas said.

When she refused, Fahim repeatedly locked the car’s doors, the Tribune reported.

He only offered to release her if she agreed to his demand, Soliunas said.

As the vehicle slowed in traffic, the woman was able to escape. She appeared to be uninjured, authorities said.

An Uber spokesman called the rider’s account of what happened “troubling,” according to the Tribune.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/uber-driver-locked-passenger-car-demanded-sex-article-1.3428247

Former Uber driver admits to exposing himself to multiple young girls

Updated on August 16, 2017 at 4:24 PM Posted on August 16, 2017 at 8:45 AM

By Melissa Hanson

A former Uber driver will spend 2 and 1/2 years in jail after admitting to exposing himself to multiple young girls in Malden and Everett last year, officials said.

Paul Griffin, 29, of Malden, pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court on Tuesday to charges in connection with the series of indecent exposure incidents, according to the office of Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan.

Griffin was charged with six counts of open and gross lewdness, six counts of accosting and annoying a person of the opposite sex, operating a motor vehicle to endanger, failure to stop for police and resisting arrest.

Judge Christopher Barry-Smith sentenced Griffin to 2 and 1/2 years in the House of Correction, Ryan's office said. The judge also ordered that Griffin serve 3 years of probation, undergo a sex offender evaluation with all follow up treatment, stay away from all of the victims, wear a GPS monitoring bracelet for 6 months and refrain from any employment with a ride sharing or taxi company.

The first indecent exposure occurred on Aug. 7, 2016, read a statement from Ryan's office. Malden Police responded to the intersection of Mount Vernon and Starbird Street, where two juvenile girls told officers that a a man drove up next to them while they were walking and exposed himself.

On Aug. 27, another juvenile girl told Malden police that a week prior, she and a friend were walking on Hunting Street when a man in a car exposed himself to them.

http://www.masslive.com/news/worcester/index.ssf/2017/08/former_uber_driver_exposed_him.html

Couple Sues Uber, Claims Driver Tried to Mow Them Down

The driver also allegedly threatened to kill the pair

By City News Service

A couple who allege an Uber driver tried four times to run them down in April while threatening to kill them sued the company and the driver Monday.

John Christopher Burget and fiancee Kristin Currey brought the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Uber Technologies Inc. and driver Destiny Riddle. The suit alleges negligence, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. Burget is seeking $4.95 million in damages and Currey is asking for $750,000.

Uber hired and retained Riddle despite her "record of violent and confrontational behavior," the suit states.

Neither the plaintiffs' attorney, Mark Mazda, nor an Uber representative could be immediately reached.

The suit does not state where Riddle picked up the pair on April 22. During the ride, Currey complained to Riddle about the loud volume of the music she was playing and the offensive lyrics, but the request only caused her to become "extremely confrontational and violent," the suit states.

"Riddle refused to turn the music down or off," the suit states. "So, Burget and Currey asked Riddle to let them out of the car. Riddle refused." Riddle only permitted the plaintiffs to leave the car after they called 911, the suit states.

"However, after they were out of the car, Riddle attempted to run them over four times," the suit states. "Riddle expressly stated to plaintiffs while she was doing this that she was going to kill them."

Riddle tried three times to run the two over while driving in reverse at high speed, then turned around and aimed at them again, the suit alleges.

"The only reason Riddle stopped attempting to run them over was because the police were arriving at the scene," the suit states. "Riddle fled the scene in her Uber car and was eventually arrested by police."

Burget, who previously had knee implant surgery in one leg and a hamstring injury in the other leg, hurt himself while jumping out of the way of Riddle's car, the suit states.

Burget has had further surgery on the leg with the implant and he may lose that limb from the knee down, the suit states. He tore his hamstring in the other leg and has had flashbacks about the confrontation with Riddle, the suit states.

Currey also was injured while leaping out of the way of Riddle's car and both she and Burget suffered emotional distress, according to the complaint.

"Currey feared and still fears that Riddle would or will show up at her house and harm her, Burget, and/or Currey's children," the suit states.

The suit further states that Riddle swung an aluminum softball bat and chased for two miles in her car a process server who tried to serve her with papers the plaintiffs filed in support of their successful bid for a temporary restraining order against the Uber driver.

"That process server fled for his life," the suit states.



Source: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Couple-Sues-Uber-Claims-Driver-Tried-to-Mow-Them-Down-440384263.html#ixzz4pqbefuoJ 
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Police: Florida man dies after punch from Uber driver in St. Pete

Witness: Passenger was 'completely unresponsive'

WFTS WebteamMichael Paluska

5:32 PM, Aug 11, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - UPDATE | Terry Kimball, an Uber passenger punched by his driver, has died as a result of his injuries, officials said Saturday, Aug. 12.

St. Petersburg police said no charges have been filed yet and the investigation continues. 

ORIGINAL STORY | An Uber driver is accused of punching a passenger in St. Petersburg, causing what could be life-threatening injuries.

Police say at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Uber driver Kabir O' Farril Diaz, 38, picked up 56-year-old passenger Terry L. Kimball.

They had a dispute over the route the driver was taking. Diaz pulled over at the Quick Pick Foods store at 800 58th St. N. in St. Petersburg, where they had a physical altercation.

Authorities say the driver punched Kimball, and he did not regain consciousness.

"I saw this guy laying on the ground. This woman was pressing on his chest trying to bring him back," Carlton Reid said. "He wasn't responsive. It was pretty tough, really I was really scared, I didn't know what was going on with him and I was pretty worried."

Reid witnessed the aftermath of the fight.

He is now in the hospital with serious brain trauma and life-threatening injuries.

Police said a witness told them Kimball appeared to be the aggressor.  A friend of Diaz told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska he has a baby on the way and is not a violent person.

According to Pinellas County court records Kimball's been arrested multiple times for crimes that include DUI, simple battery, resisting arrest, and disorderly intoxication.  

"That's very sad it really is I would like to know what happened now, truly," Reid said.  

Investigators are speaking with witnesses and they say Diaz, who has not been charged at this time, is cooperating.

http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-south-pinellas/st-petersburg/uber-driver-accused-of-punching-passenger-causing-possibly-life-threatening-injuries

Uber sex scandal as police accuse taxi firm of failing to report sex attacks committed by drivers 

By Nicola Harley 

13 AUGUST 2017 • 12:44PM

Uberhas hit back at claims by the police that it has been covering up sex attacks by its drivers.

On Sunday a letter emerged accusing the firm of failing to report incidents by its drivers to the police.

Inspector Neil Billany, head of the Metropolitan Police's taxi and private hire unit, has expressed "significant concerns" that the firm is picking and choosing what it reports to the police to protect its reputation.

It alleges a driver committed a sex offence on a passenger and was allowed to continue in his job but later committed a second offence.

Uber says the first offence was when a driver hugged a passenger and the second offence involved the same driver touching a passengers leg.

It has expressed "surprise" at the letter as it says it works with the police and has even created a dedicated unit to tackling any incidents which is run by former Met officers.

In the letter, which was released under the Freedom of Information Act, the officer claims Uber is "deciding what to report" and only informing police of "less serious matters" that would be "less damaging to its reputation".

In the letter, which was originally sent to Helen Chapman the Head of Taxis and Private Hire at Tfl, Insp Billany claims the police have not been informed of six alleged sex assaults on passengers by the company, two suspected public order offences and an alleged assault.

He said the victims had been given assurances by the firm that their alleged attacks would be reported. 

Uber says it up to the individual to report crimes to the police and that they will always help with follow up inquiries and "strive to get the right balance between supporting the police in their investigations, while preserving the rights of individuals".  

"While we were surprised by this letter – as we don’t feel it reflects the good working relationship we have with the police and the extensive support we provide – we would welcome further collaboration and to establish how we can do more to strengthen our existing processes," a spokesman for Uber said.

"The safety of riders and drivers using the Uber app is our top priority.We use technology to bring accountability and transparency to every ride.

"Uber does not routinely report incidents retrospectively to the police on behalf of others – we advise those involved to make a report themselves and then assist the police with any subsequent enquiries.

"If there is a serious incident involving a licensed driver they are prevented from using our app. "We always inform the regulator, Tfl, when a driver is deactivated from the Uber app for any form of unsatisfactory conduct and the reason why we have done so, and work closely with them to provide any further information that would be of use."

Tfl has says the letter will form part of a review into whether Uber's licence is extended in September.

A spokesman for the Met added: "The Metropolitan Police Service will not tolerate any offences committed upon passengers of private hire vehicles and will robustly pursue offenders.

"Our dedicated taxi and private hire policing team are at the forefront of tackling illegal Taxi and Private hire activity and carry out regular operational night time deployments to target offenders.

"If anyone experiences a sexual assault of any kind we would urge them to come forward and tell police immediately.

"Equally we would expect those who run dedicated taxi and private hire vehicles to act responsibly and promptly report all serious allegations of criminal activity to police in the best interests of public safety."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/13/uber-sex-scandal-police-accuse-taxi-firm-failing-report-sex/