2 attacks on women using rideshare service in Boston

Community alert issued after weekend assaults

UPDATED 5:59 PM EDT Mar 21, 2016

BOSTON —Boston police put out an alert after two attacks on women who used a rideshare service on Sunday.

The first assault happened on Landsdowne Street just before 3 a.m. Sunday. The victim said she arranged for a rideshare service to pick her up in the area of 15 Landsdowne Street. She said she entered a car she believed to be from the rideshare service she called. 

Upon getting into the car, the driver stated that he was not her driver but he would drive her anywhere she needed to go. According to the victim, the driver asked her to sit up front. During the course of the ride, the victim said driver indecently assaulted her.

She described him as a black male in his late 20s to early 30s with short hair and a thin build. He was wearing a black sweater and khaki pants. He spoke with an accent.

Moments later, police were called to the Mission Hill section of the city, where another woman reported an attack. Police said the victim arranged for a rideshare service to pick her up in Boston.

The victim got into a small black SUV believing it was the car she had called. Once inside the car, the operator said that he would drive her home but she was required to sit up front. During the course of the ride, the victim said that the driver sexually assaulted her. 

"I spoke with the commissioner. They are investigating, and we are asking the public to pay attention this. (It) is not the first time we had accusations like this,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.

Police did not identify the rideshare service.

Lyft confirmed that one its drivers was dispatched to pick up a passenger in the South End, but the passenger didn't get into his car. Lyft said it had no information about the Mission Hill incident.

Although Uber has not been linked to the attacks, it reminds users that the dispatched driver's name, photo, car type and license plate number are available through its app and riders should confirm the driver's identity before getting into the vehicle.

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