By Coleen Harry, WBTVPublished: March 12, 2016, 6:22 am
HARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – A Charlotte teen and his mother are demanding answers from Uber after they said one particular driver has been harassing the 17-year-old.
“Frustrated. I mean it’s crazy” said Isaiah, who doesn’t want his full identity revealed.
He said he booked a ride with Uber back in September to get from home to work. Since that ride, Isaiah says the Uber driver who picked him up has been has made unwelcomed advances.
He said it started during the car ride.
“He said ‘you got nice, thick hair. I got a nice hair dresser. I got modeling classes’,” Isaiah said. “And he started rubbing his fingers through my hair.”
Isaiah said there was more.
“Something so easy as, and he grabbed my leg, can make you so much money. I got out of the car, shut the door.”
He said the driver started sending him text messages. Isaiah said when he initially downloaded the Uber app, it asked for email, mobile and password. His name was on his account.
He said the man then found him on Instagram and started sending dozens of direct messages.
“I’m driving back from Rock Hill and can bring you a $100. Let me start taking care of you,” Isaiah said one of the messages read.
WBTV asked Isaiah if he ever asked the driver for anything. The teen said, “A ride to work on the day I needed a ride from Uber. That’s it.”
Isaiah’s mother said one day when her son forgot his cell phone at home, she saw a barrage of messages come from the driver who Isaiah said only gave his first name.
“When I finally saw it for myself, a lot of texts in like three days, it was persistent,” the mother said. “I was disgusted from the moment he started telling me about it. After I saw those message, I said I gotta say something.”
She said she contacted Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police because the messages disturbed her.
“You don’t have to be gay to do this. It’s acting like in Hollywood; that people do it for the money all the time,” she recalled one text.
She said police told her only her son can file a police report. The 17-year-old says he has been playing phone tag with an investigator. The mother said she also contacted Uber.
“It wasn’t until I posted something on Facebook that they contacted me directly and they assured me they would look into it,” she said.
Isaiah said he also reached out to Uber and in January received a message from the company saying, “This was handled internally and action was taken against the other party involved.”
WBTV sent Uber several messages but no one from the company has responded.
We also sent the driver an Instagram message from the account he used to contact Isaiah. The driver hasn’t responded.
Even though Uber told the family the matter was handled, Isaiah said he continued to received more messages, as recently as this week.
He said he doesn’t feel safe. The driver initially picked him up at his mother’s house so he moved.
“Why can’t I live at my mom’s house because this guy knows where I live,” he said. “He knows my location. He knows what I do. He knows what I say to other people.”
Now, both mother and son have questions.
“Who is driving you around? How good are your background checks?” Isaiah said people should be asking Uber.
His mother said “I would like (police) to find out who he is and have him on their radar.”