Uber driver charged with indecent assault

December 6, 2016 12:00 AM

By Dan Gigler / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

An Uber driver has been charged in an incident last month in which he is accused of making sexual advances toward a female passenger in the North Hills.

Jehad Abdula Makhoul, 46, of Whitehall, was charged with one count of indecent assault, a second-degree misdemeanor, and one count of harassment, a summary offense.

The woman said she requested a ride Nov. 22 to the Barrel Junction restaurant on Route 8 in Shaler. The woman got in the front seat and midway through the ride, she told police, the driver stopped the vehicle in Ross and began making sexual advances. She was able to push him off and he drove her to the restaurant, where she called 911 at 8:46 p.m. She was not hurt.

Ross police said Uber, as well as the driver, cooperated with the investigation.

Police again reminded customers using ride-hailing services to take precautions, including:

• Request the ride through an actual account — not on the street with a driver.

• Travel with friends.

• Photograph the license plate before you get in.

• Verify that the car and driver are the ones you were expecting before you get in.

• Text or tell a friend that you are using a ride service, and share your location.

• Drivers are not trusted friends, so do not treat them as such and be careful what information you share.

• Trust your instincts and do not get in the car if you do not feel safe.