Lyft Driver Groped, Threatened to 'F--- Up' Passenger, Prosecutors Say
By Erica Demarest | June 28, 2016 6:08am
Momen Hamdan, 21, is charged with intimidation.
Shutterstock; Chicago Police Department
COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A recently fired Lyft driver has been charged with threatening the Lakeview woman who reported him for groping her last month, prosecutors said Monday.
In a voicemail, Momen Hamdan, 21, told the woman, "Listen, b----. You got them to fire me at Lyft. I'm going to f--- your a-- up," Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during a bond hearing Monday.
The 20-year-old victim is "terrified for her safety," Scaduto said, because Hamdan knows where she lives. He dropped her off at her Lakeview home after she hailed a ride with Lyft on May 31.
During that ride, Hamdan told the woman she was beautiful and asked questions about her love life, prosecutors said. The victim began texting a friend: "help," "Lyft driver scary," "hitting on me," according to Scaduto.
At one point, Hamdan told the woman he received a message from Lyft and needed to pick up another passenger, prosecutors said. Hamdan had the woman move to the front seat to make room.
It was there, prosecutors said, that Hamdan began touching the woman's upper thigh without her permission.
Hamdan never picked up another passenger.
When Hamdan pulled up to the woman's building, he asked to come inside, according to Scaduto. When the woman said "no," prosecutors said, Hamdan locked the car doors and asked for her number.
The woman complied, prosecutors said, in the hopes Hamdan would unlock his car doors. He then grabbed the woman and tried to kiss her, Scaduto said, but the victim twisted away and Hamdan kissed her cheek.
Once inside, the woman called Lyft and reported the incident. Hamdan was later fired by the company, according to court testimony.
A Lyft spokeswoman said the company has fired Hamdan and is "available to support the authorities in their investigation."
"We have a strict zero-tolerance policy for any type of violent behavior, abuse or harassment," spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna said.
In court Monday, Hamdan's defense attorney knocked the allegations against his client, saying, "The victim here had ample opportunity to leave [Hamdan's car]. She had her phone. She could've called 911."
According to prosecutors, Hamdan called the victim several times from June 2-4. He found the woman on Snapchat, but she declined connecting through the app, Scaduto said.
It was on June 4 that Hamdan called the victim twice and left a threatening voicemail saying he'd been fired based on the woman's complaints, prosecutors said.
Police arrested Hamdan, of the 4800 block of West Warwick Avenue, about 7:30 a.m. Saturday after the victim identified him through a photo array, court record show. He is charged with intimidation.
He has no prior criminal history and is a high school graduate, according to his attorney. Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas on Monday set his bail at $10,000.