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 
Follow us: @NBCLA on Twitter | NBCLA on Facebook



 

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/

Uber passenger's nightmare ride-share experience

14th August 2017 5:45 AM

AN UBER driver will front court next month accused of refusing to allow a female passenger to leave his vehicle.

Initial investigations suggest the woman was travelling to a licensed premises at Fortitude Valley about 11pm on Saturday night when the Uber driver refused to pull over.

The 45-year-old driver allegedly spent over an hour driving across Brisbane and New Farm before he continued south via the Clem7 Tunnel.

The 25-year-old victim tried to get the attention of passing motorists by opening her door.

The man stopped on the M1 where the let the woman go, before she called police for help.

Detectives have since charged the Logan Central man with one count of deprivation of liberty.

He is expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 5.

Police have confirmed the woman was not physically injured.

A spokesman for Uber said the alleged incident was concerning and the company had "immediately blocked the driver's access to the app".

"We are assisting police with their investigation in anyway we can," he said.

"The safety of Uber riders is paramount, and that's why every driver on the app must hold a valid Driver Authority issued by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, including a criminal backgound and driver history check."

https://m.news-mail.com.au/news/uber-passengers-nightmare-ride-share-experience/3212004/

Uber driver used app to find customer's home and beat him, lawsuit says

POSTED: AUG 12 2017 09:24AM CDT

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court accuses an Uber driver of using the company’s app to find a passenger’s home address so that he could wait for him to get home and attack him.

The suit was filed by David Riordan, who said he requested an Uber to take him home about 2 a.m. Dec. 18, 2016 after leaving a party, according to court documents.

When Uber driver Muntsr Abuseini arrived at the intersection of Damen and Division in the Wicker Park neighborhood to pick him up, Riordan said Abuseini became aggressive toward him and kicked him out of the car, according to the suit. Abuseini then got out of the car and punched Riordan in the face and tackled him.

Riordan went to a friend’s home afterwards and reported the incident to Uber about 2:30 a.m. He then called another Uber to take him home, according to the suit. When he got to his home in Logan Square, Abuseini attacked him from behind and hit him in the head with a metal baton.

According to the suit, Abuseini told Riordan “Don’t f— with Uber drivers,” during the attack.

Abuseini was arrested Jan. 23 in Lake View and subsequently charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to Chicago Police.

His bail was was set at $75,000 and he was released from Cook County Jail after posting bond, according to court records. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The suit accuses Abuseini of battery, assault and causing Riordan emotional distress during the attack. It also accuses Uber of negligently hiring and supervising Abuseini.

Uber declined to comment on the suit, but a spokeswoman said Abuseini’s “access to the driver app was removed after this incident.”

Riordan seeks unspecified damages through the suit.

http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/local/273455962-story

Woman Claims Uber Driver Exposed Himself to Her

AUGUST 11, 2017 BY DICK COOK 

East Ridge police are investigating an incident in which a Belvoir Hills Drive woman accused a taxi driver of exposing himself to her.

According to a police report, late Sunday night officers were dispatched to the 800 block of Belvoir Hills Drive where a woman stated that an Uber driver had indecently exposed himself to her. The woman told police that she had been at a Chattanooga nightclub with her boyfriend and friends when she wanted to go home. Her boyfriend and friends stayed at the club.

The woman called Uber to arrange for a ride back to her house in East Ridge. The report states that when the driver pulled up to the woman’s house and put the car in park, he pulled his pants down exposing his genitals. The woman told police that the driver then said, “you’re not going anywhere until you do something about this.”

The report states that the woman then got out of the car and ran to a neighbor’s house. The woman called her boyfriend and told him of the incident and also told him that she didn’t have the house key to get inside their place. The report states that the boyfriend sent an Uber driver to deliver her the keys. According to the report, the woman said the Uber driver who delivered her the keys was the same man who allegedly exposed himself to her. The woman told police that she sent her neighbor out to get the house keys.

The report states that the neighbor got the tag number of the Uber driver’s car. The suspect driver was potentially identified through the ownership of the vehicle, the report states.

http://www.eastridgenewsonline.com/woman-claims-uber-driver-exposed/

 

FAKE UBER DRIVERS POSE REAL THREAT

Uber has quietly initiated a campaign to warn riders about fake drivers. About time they did.

Kidnapping. Sexual assault. Robbery. Uber and Lyft driver-impostors have been wreaking havoc on unsuspecting passengers for years. Our campaign lists 63 news reports of fake Uber and Lyft drivers harming riders.

Lately, there are more fakes than ever. During July, six news reports surfaced about Uber impostors hurting passengers—most involving alleged sexual assault or robbery.

These fakes vividly illustrate why it’s crucial to rigorously background-check actual Uber and Lyft drivers: Drivers control the car and its occupant.  Posing as a driver perfectly enables criminals to locate victims, secure them, and transport them to a different location to avoid getting caught.

Fake Uber and Lyft drivers who are thieves seem to operate in pairs. Typically, the second person is riding shotgun and somehow subdues or intimidates the passenger sitting in back.

As riders, men have been somewhat immune to God-awful experiences in Uber and Lyft cars. Not so with fakes. A crew of two women have repeatedly robbed men and women in New Orleans. Now, maybe they’ve franchised in AtlantaChicago has also repeatedly been the scene of fake Uber and Lyft drivers robbing unsuspecting passengers.

How do fake Uber and Lyft drivers find victims? Would-be riders are probably obvious.  They are likely standing on a street corner, late at night, obviously waiting, staring intently at their phone. Maybe these riders are inebriated or just in a hurry to get home so they don’t compare the driver’s name, face, vehicle and license plate info with what’s provided by the app. Maybe the reason why so many men have been victims of fakes is they are less vigilant about double-checking these items.

Another reason passengers climb into a fake Uber may be to save a buck. Fake Uber drivers—or real Uber drivers doing cash deals outside of the app—have become so prevalent at New York’s JFK and La Guardia Airports that Uber itself had to issue an advisory to passengers: Don’t do cash trips!

My God, we agree. Don’t arrange cash trips with Uber and Lyft drivers. There’s no insurance coverage whatsoever on these rides. Cash trips are like time bombs.

So, how are Uber and Lyft at fault for impostors?

First off, the “ridesharing” business model lends itself to fakes. It doesn’t employ vehicles with hard-to-falsify external markings. Fake drivers can just print out the Uber or Lyft logo. Undercover New York cops may be posing as Uber and Lyft drivers by doing just this. (Better tell Uber’s anti-impostor effort).

Maybe the fake-Uber-driver cops are trying to interdict the NYC Uber-branded fentanyl and heroin ring?

Second, public policy-wise, taxicabs have long been considered a form of (or extension of) public transportation. Taxicab drivers are publicly licensed. But Uber and Lyft drivers are not. Uber and Lyft go out of their way to protect drivers’ anonymity; the corporations have repeatedly refused to share driver identities with cities. Thus, unlike taxicabs, there is no local regulator or police officer on the street who can check a license.

Meaning: There’s no way for Uber and Lyft impostors to get caught by the cops or any other local regulatory agency with a street presence.

That responsibility now rests with passengers.

http://www.whosdrivingyou.org/blog/fake-uber-drivers-pose-real-threat

Uber driver accused of sexually assaulting woman on Brisbane's north side

By Kristian Silva

Posted Tue at 9:16pm

Police have appealed for witnesses after a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver on Brisbane's north side overnight.

The driver had dropped a group of friends off at an Alderley home, before continuing to Gordon Park with the woman.

It was there the 22-year-old woman claimed she was grabbed and assaulted about 12:30am.

The woman said the driver then dropped her home.

Investigators have appealed for any witnesses who saw a blue 2015 Renault Captur to come forward.

The driver was interviewed and released without charge on Wednesday morning.

An Uber spokesman said the company was assisting police with inquiries.

It is the third alleged sexual assault linked to Brisbane Uber drivers since July.

Police have said the cases are unrelated, but in the past month have made appeals for women who have been assaulted in ride-sharing vehicles to come forward.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-09/uber-driver-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-woman/8788178

How safe is your Uber? Growing concern as police figures suggest company's drivers are linked to one sex attack in London per week

 

  • Police figures show sex attacks involving Uber drivers up 50 per cent in a year
  • From February 2015 and February 2016, there were 32 claims made against firm's drivers in London
  • In the past 12 months to February 2017, that figure shot up to 48 alleged attacks
  • But Uber said such incidents are 'incredibly rare' and result in driver bannings  

By TOM RAWSTORNE FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 17:51 EDT, 28 July 2017 | UPDATED: 18:04 EDT, 28 July 2017

After a meal with her boyfriend and drinks at a leaving party, the 26-year-old office worker called it a night. It was only 10.30pm, but she had to be in work early the next day so, using her smartphone, she summoned a cab via the Uber app. It was a decision she would live to regret.

Her driver, an Eritrean refugee who had been working for Uber for only three weeks, quickly made her feel uneasy.

‘You are very pretty,’ said Samson Haile, 32. He then asked if she had a boyfriend, before announcing: ‘I want to have sex with you.’

Next, he grabbed her leg, moving his hand up her thigh. Terrified, the woman screamed and jumped out of the Toyota Prius, fleeing into the London night.

Hours later, Haile was at it again, telling a female passenger: ‘I want to sleep in your bed.’ As luck would have it, she was an undercover policewoman and Haile would subsequently be arrested and linked to the first attack.

Some might dismiss it as a relatively minor incident, but its impact would be immense.

‘I have suffered from repeated flashbacks relating to the incident,’ the victim revealed in a statement read out in court in 2015, when Haile was jailed for eight months.

‘I feel helpless, isolated and vulnerable, and the incident has made me lonely. I now don’t like being in a vehicle with a man I don’t know. I had to move since the cab journey because I was so worried the man knew where I lived. I am haunted by the “what if?” scenarios.’

Earlier this month, a different court was hearing another case involving an Uber driver. This time, Jahir Hussain was jailed for 12 years for attacks on three separate women in London. He groped two and raped the third, cutting off their underwear with a knife after they fell asleep in the back of his cab.

A spokesman said Uber’s thoughts were with the victims, but added: ‘While these attacks did not take place on a trip booked through our app, we were still able to support the police in bringing this man to justice.’

Little wonder there are growing concerns that Uber’s aggressive expansion could be jeopardising passenger safety. MPs and unions are warning that new drivers are exploiting legislative loopholes to sidestep measures intended to safeguard the public, such as installing CCTV cameras in the back of cabs.

Questions have also been raised about whether pressure on Uber drivers to maximise their earnings is leading to them lending their vehicles to other drivers — so passengers have no idea who may be driving them home late at night.

Some will see such criticisms as sour grapes, whipped up by those who lost out after the Californian company launched its services in London in 2012.

The firm runs a smartphone app that allows users to hail a minicab at the tap of a screen using location software in the passenger and driver’s phones.



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Police: Woman Abducted, Robbed By Possible Lyft Driver

August 2, 2017 5:10 PM

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — Authorities are investigating after a woman was allegedly abducted and robbed by who she believed was a Lyft driver.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood says 31-year-old Brittney Lough and her 21-year-old sister partied at the Voyeur nightclub in Center City, and when leaving, the older sister says she used an app to contact a Lyft driver around 4 a.m. A man in a black 4-door vehicle pulled up to take them home to Haverford Township.

At one point, the younger sister got out to get the driver a bottle of water for his medication in Upper Darby at a Sunoco on the 8200 block of West Chester Pike, but when she came out, the vehicle was gone and she called police. Chitwood says the older sister says she was eventually taken to Northwest Philadelphia, where the man demanded valuables and her phone.

Police say the man allegedly drove Lough to the 100 block of Champlost Road in Olney where he forced the woman out of the car. She told police the driver took her cell phone and credit cards before fleeing.

“She refused to give it up. He then grabbed her phone and grabbed her debit card. He then threw her out of the car, drug her out of the car, then threw her out of the car. He took off,” said Chitwood.

Lough, who is hearing impaired, was located by police Wednesday around 10 a.m. She was not injured.

Police are now looking for the suspect described as a black male between the ages of 25 to 35, with an accent. The suspect’s car is believed to be a black four-door Nissan.

Lyft said in a statement that “there does not appear to be a Lyft ride matching the time, location or vehicle provided in these reports.”

“We have been in touch with law enforcement and will continue to assist their investigation,” the company said.

The incident remains under investigation.

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2017/08/02/possible-abduction-upper-darby/

Uber driver accused of raping a schoolgirl, 16, while telling her 'it's alright baby girl' granted bail

 

  • Uber driver was charged this month with raping a 16-year-old schoolgirl
  • Girl was returning to a friend's home when she was allegedly picked up
  • Man allegedly took her to a dark allotment to rape and sexually assault her
  • Seminal fluid was detected on the victim's underwear, the court heard

By Australian Associated Press

PUBLISHED: 07:56 EDT, 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 08:01 EDT, 25 July 2017

An Uber driver accused of raping a Queensland high school student has been granted bail despite evidence placing him at the scene of the crime.
The 37-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been in custody since he was charged earlier this month with raping a 16-year-old passenger.
The girl was returning to a friend's home after buying a tub of ice cream when she was allegedly picked up by the man about 9pm on July 7.

Two friends had offered to go with the girl on the return trip to the supermarket but she told them: 'It's alright, I'll be 10 minutes max'.

Police allege the man drove in the direction of the girl's destination before terminating the trip and taking her to a 'dark, spare allotment'.

'I have just broken up with my girlfriend today and I am feeling horny,' he allegedly said.

'But I think you can fix my problem'.

The man then allegedly indecently touched, raped and sexually assaulted the girl as she cried and repeatedly told him no.

'It's alright baby girl. Spread your legs,' he allegedly said.

The girl, who was returned to her friend's home, later revealed to a friend and her mother that she had been raped.

The driver 'strongly denies' the allegations against him and has been described by character references as a kind-hearted family man who respects women.

Court documents filed in the Brisbane Supreme Court show data taken from his phone place him on the exact route the victim alleged the assault occurred.

Seminal fluid has also been detected on the victim's underwear but not in the man's vehicle, which police noted had been 'recently cleaned'.

The man, who had been working up to five days a week as an Uber driver since January, is not allowed to work for the company or as a taxi driver as part of his bail conditions.

He has also been placed on a curfew, surrendered his passport and must report to police three times a week.

The case will return to the Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 7.



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