Ahmad Bahjat was arraigned Monday in Meriden Superior Court for charges stemming from a sexual assault Hamden Police say occurred while he masqueraded as Uber driver.
Bahjat, an Iraqi refugee, is charged with sexual assault, kidnapping and unlawful restraint.
The arrest warrant obtained by NBC Connecticut describes a horrific experience for a Quinnipiac University student who got into Bahjat’s car on Jan. 31 because she believed he was an Uber driver.
According to the warrant, Bahjat, 29, raped the woman in the backseat of his Nissan Sentra in an unknown apartment parking lot in Hamden.
The victim told detectives “She attempted to get out from under him, but he overpowered her” and “she told him “No”, “Stop” and “Get off” numerous times, but he did not.”
The QU student left her phone in the car after Bahjat eventually dropped her off near QU’s main campus. Police used an I-Phone locator app to track down and seize his dark gray colored car.
The court papers state police were able to identify Bahjat as their suspect because of a parking decal in the car from Southern Connecticut State University.
While at Yale-New Haven Hospital, the victim logged in to her Gmail account to see if she purchased an Uber ride and “She did not observe any transactions or receipts for payment emailed to her,” according to the warrant.
Another QU student Breanna Hegarty told NBC Connecticut she has seen people pose as Uber drivers trying to pick up passengers near Toad’s Place, the New Haven nightclub where police say the victim got into Bahjat’s car.
“I took it off my phone just because it’s not necessary there are shuttles,” Hegarty said, explaining why she no longer uses Uber. “The shuttles are safer in my opinion and you can find friends who can drive you.”
Uber reminds riders to always check to make sure the license plate on your phone app matches the one on the car picking you up for a ride.
Bahjat is being held on a $500,000 bond. His case is being transferred to New Haven court, where he is scheduled to appear on March 8.