SEATTLE MAN ACCUSED OF TRYING TO RAPE ONE PASSENGER, ATTEMPTING TO KISS ANOTHER IN PAIR OF ATTACKS
BY LEVI PULKKINEN, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF | March 15, 2016
A Seattle rideshare driver accused of attacking women while driving for Uber and Lyft now faces sexual assault charges.
King County prosecutors contend Sayfudin Ahmed sexually assaulted a woman on April 8 while driving for Uber. Ahmed, 34, is alleged to have attempted to rape another passenger on April 30 while driving for Lyft, another of the popular app-based rideshare vendors that have largely replaced licensed taxi services in urban areas around the country.
Writing the court, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Carla Carlstrom said Uber was first warned of unusual behavior by Ahmed in January. Carlstrom said Ahmed appears to have since been blocked from both rideshare services.
“The defendant is a predator who has used his position as a ride share driver to take advantage of, and sexually assault, vulnerable females who are intoxicated,” Carlstrom said in charging papers. “This is especially concerning when customers are urged to use ride share services in exactly the same situation as these two women found themselves: intoxicated and not safe to drive.”
The assault charges against Ahmed follow on rape charges against another Seattle-area Lyft and Uber driver. Dereje Kebede, a 40-year-old SeaTac man, is accused of attempting to rape an extremely drunk woman he picked up outside a Capitol Hill nightclub.
Ahmed, too, is accused of attacking a woman whose intoxication was obvious.
Prosecutors claim Ahmed tried to kiss a 42-year-old woman on April 8.
Contacted by investigators, the woman said she had been drinking at a Crown Hill bar that night when she called an Uber to take her home. The woman was crying and couldn’t find her home.
The woman told Seattle Police Department detectives she was riding in the front passenger seat when the driver, since identified as Ahmed, leaned over and touched her, according to charging papers. He tried to kiss her, she told investigators, before she fled the car.
The woman filed a complaint with Uber which was later discovered by police investigating the April 30 incident.
That night, Ahmed is alleged to have forced a 28-year-old woman to perform oral sex on him after picking her up at a Wallingford fast-food eatery.
The woman told police she’d been drinking heavily that evening before calling a Lyft shortly after 8:30 p.m. According to charging papers, Ahmed reached up the woman’s shorts and sexually assaulted her shortly before she blacked out.
The woman woke in pain hours later at her Seattle home. She reported the incident the following morning.
Contacted by detectives in June, Ahmed initially denied the woman’s allegations and then claimed they had consensual sexual contact, according to charging papers.
Ahmed, a West Seattle resident, has been charged with second-degree assault with sexual motivation in the April 30 incident. He is alleged to have been attempting to rape the woman when the assault occurred.