Lyft driver sexually assaulted passenger after she refused $1K offer: cops

 

By Joshua Rhett Miller

May 3, 2018 | 11:52am

Raheel Bin HanifOakland County Sheriffs Office

A Lyft driver in Michigan sexually assaulted a female passenger after offering her $1,000 for sex, authorities said.

Raheel Bin Hanif, 24, of Waterford Township, told the woman during a ride in Pontiac on April 24 that he owned a health spa and would pay her $400 if she let him massage her and complete a subsequent survey on his services, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

Hanif also encouraged the woman — who had previously used Hanif as a driver on the ridesharing platform — to drink from an open container of Four Loko during the ride. Hanif then arrived at the purported spa, where the victim said she felt as if she was “buzzed” after drinking the alcoholic malt beverage. After the massage ended, Hanif then offered her $1,000 in exchange for sex, which the woman refused before being sexually assaulted. Hanif then drove her back to her home, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.

“We will never tolerate behavior from those who commit sexual violence,” Bouchard said in a statement. “This is a reminder to review some of the newest safety features included in apps such as Uber and Lyft, which allow you to send your location to friends and family and call for emergency help quickly.”

Hanif was arrested a day after the alleged assault and was later arraigned on three counts of third-degree criminal sexual contact. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Hanif, who remains jailed on $750,000 cash surety bond, is due back in court on Monday.

Investigators are now looking into whether Hanif has been involved in other assaults. He was listed as a possible suspect in another sexual assault in December, but there wasn’t enough evidence to obtain a warrant at the time, Bouchard said.

Anyone with information about Hanif is asked to contact authorities at (248) 858-4911.

Hanif’s arrest comes after a CNN report last month found that at least 103 Uber drivers and 18 Lyft drivers have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers in the last four years.

“You are pretty much hitchhiking with strangers,” one woman from Miami told CNN. “How many people is it going to take to get assaulted before something is done?”

Hanif was “immediately deactivated” after Lyft officials learned of the alleged assault, which occurred off the company’s platform, spokeswoman Kate Margolis told The Post in a statement Thursday. The incident is now being investigated internally and the company will work with investigators, she said.

“These allegations are deeply disturbing, and are completely unacceptable,” Margolis said. “From day one, the safety of the Lyft community has been our number one priority.”

 

https://nypost.com/2018/05/03/lyft-driver-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-passenger-after-offering-her-1000-for-sex/

A first Uber ride ends in sexual assault charge

CNN has documented at least 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. who have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers in the past four years. A passenger who is suing Uber sat down to share her story. Her driver is charged with felony sexual battery and is awaiting trial.

Source: CNN

Watch here-

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/cnnmoney/2018/04/30/first-uber-ride-sexual-assault-charge.cnn

Why everyone hates Uber

The Uber playbook

There's no denying the convenience of ride-hailing apps, but Uber has chosen to expand its reach in a singularly ruthless manner. Billions of dollars of venture capital financing give Uber the power to use unrealistic pricing to build dependence among customers and drivers. And that financing comes with demands - demands from investors that Uber grow globally at any cost. This has led the company to engage in behavior ranging from the questionable to the outrageous, and repeat its exploits in city after city and country after country.

As Uber has disrupted transportation economies around the world, the company's playbook has become clear. By studying its pattern of behavior, we've been able to identify each step in Uber's method for entering, dominating, and exploiting new markets around the globe.

  1. Market entry

    Far too often, Uber will start to operate in a location without seeking permission from regulators, or complying with local taxi laws. They will insist that their model is not catered to in pre-existing regulations, which therefore cannot be held to apply to them.
  2. Driver recruitment

    Uber needs a critical mass of drivers on the street in order to provide a usable service to riders. To achieve this, at the outset it offers an attractive deal to drivers, tempting them away from taxi cab firms. Uber uses its size and funding to push fares below the cost of providing a ride, something local tax-paying firms cannot afford to do.
  3. Use riders as a political base

    By establishing itself before the authorities have time to react, Uber establishes a political support base amongst city-dwellers who value its convenience and relative affordability. PR stunts – such as free rides, presents for riders, or the delivery of everything from ice cream to puppies – cements the company’s appealing image.
  4. Gain political influence the way giant corporations always do

    Meanwhile, Uber will recruit an army of well-connected and expensive lobbyists to press its case in the local context.
  5. Ignore or fight regulations when possible, settle high risk lawsuits

    Uber will often fight or ignore regulations until an official crackdown becomes impossible to ignore. The company will pay the fines and costs of drivers arrested for working without a license. In these instances Uber seems happier to pay the occasional fine rather than change its behavior. In some cases, such as paying for drivers’ insurance, or even a small tax on fares, it can stand to take a hit.
  6. Brush off protests from competition

    Local taxi firms are often hit hard by Uber, often seeing a decline in their income of up to or around 50%. Some chose to protest Uber’s behavior and the fact it plays by its own rulebook. Uber sometimes responds to these protests by hiring a private security force.
  7. Reduce fares, increase commission, increase driver numbers

    Once Uber has established local market dominance, it’s time to turn a profit, and that means cutting fares and increasing its commission. It argues that lower fares, which make rides more frequent, can actually increase drivers’ income by reducing downtime, a phenomenon known as ‘Uber math’. But drivers often report that their earnings have been slashed without consultation, or even warning. The company also recruits more and more drivers – a process which adds to waiting times for drivers, but reduces them for riders, and hence drives down income.

And from there, it’s rinse and repeat. Uber is always expanding, and before this process is complete in one location, it’s on to the next.

https://www.whyeveryonehatesuber.com/#playbook

UBER DRIVER GAVE INTOXICATED WOMEN A RIDE HOME AND THEN RAPED THEM, SLO POLICE SAY

BY GABBY FERREIRA

January 18, 2018 02:38 PM

San Luis Obispo police have arrested an Uber driver from Santa Maria who they say escorted intoxicated women into their homes and then raped them.

On Wednesday, San Luis Obispo police served a search warrant at the home of 39-year-old Alfonso Alarconnunez in the 2300 block of Cesar Chavez Drive in Santa Maria, officials said. Alarconnunez was identified as a suspect in two separate sexual assault cases with multiple victims in SLO: one in the early morning of Dec. 18 and the other on Jan. 14, police said in a news release on Thursday.

Police say Alarconnunez, an Uber driver, targeted intoxicated women, gave them rides home and escorted them inside, where he then sexually assaulted them. Police said they believe Alarconnunez also stole property from the victims, including jewelry, cellphones and computers.

Police detectives believe Alarconnunez searched for parties in San Luis Obispo and solicited rides as an Uber driver. He would then collect payment through Venmo, a pay service app, to disguise his identity and his Uber records, police said.

Capt. Chris Staley said police have identified two victims in the December case and one in the January case. Staley said police first connected Alarconnunez to the Jan. 14 assault, and further investigation revealed he was connected to the Dec. 18 incident as well.

When police searched Alarconnunez’s home, police found several items of property belonging to the victims.

Alarconnunez was arrested on suspicion of eight charges, including two counts of rape of an unconscious victim and one count of rape of a drugged victim, as well as additional charges of grand theft, burglary and oral copulation with an unconscious victim.

He was taken to San Luis Obispo County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail, according to jail records.

“There’s a lot of things outstanding that we’re still trying to piece together,” Staley said. “There may be additional charges we’re trying to request through the District Attorney’s Office.”

Since the arrest was made public at about 2 p.m. Thursday, Staley said the department has been contacted by a few people who’ve interacted with Alarconnunez, though he could not say whether those interactions took place around the same time as the assaults or at another time.

Police ask everyone with information regarding Alarconnunez, or anyone who believes they were a victim of assault or theft, to notify their local law enforcement agency.

Police urge everyone to confirm the identity of the driver and vehicle they request through the Uber or Lyft apps before getting into a vehicle. Payment should also be made through Uber or Lyft and not another payment service.

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article195437314.html

Uber driver sexually assaulted 3 students from Cal Poly, 1 from Cuesta, DA says

 

 

 

 

Uber driver with criminal past arrested after British woman diplomat, 30, murdered, left by side of road

 

December 18th, 2017

A Lebanese Uber driver with “previous criminal violations” was arrested Monday in connection with the murder of a British diplomat, whose body was found on the side of a highway near Beirut over the weekend, according to officials.

Rebecca Dykes, who worked at the British embassy in Lebanon, was found strangled on Saturday after a night out with colleagues. A man was arrested at his apartment after authorities traced his car through security cameras that showed the vehicle traveling from Beirut to the area where Dykes’ body was found, officials said Monday.

The driver, whose name has not been released, confessed to killing the 30-year-old woman. Officials called the murder a “criminal act” that was not politically motivated.

Little information was released about the suspect, but a senior Lebanese security source told Sky News the man was an Uber driver. The ride-sharing company said in a statement Fox News that it is working with authorities in the investigation.

"We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victim and her family. We are working with authorities to assist their investigation in any way they can,” an Uber spokesperson told Fox News.

Police are still investigating the cause of death and whether she was sexually assaulted.  

Dykes met friends and colleagues Friday night at a bar in Beirut’s Gemayze neighborhood, known for its restaurants and pubs where diplomats and journalists are often seen, Sky News reported. She left the bar around midnight, where the driver picked her up and drove her to a nearby neighborhood where she lived — but didn’t drop her off, Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said.

The man then tried to sexually assault her and strangled her with a rope before dumping her body on the side of the highway, NNA reported. Lebanese media added that marks were found on her neck.

When Dykes’ body was found, there were no items pointing to her identity and she had no money or a cellular telephone. Authorities released a drawing of her in order for people who know her to come forward and identify her.

Dykes, who was expected to flying home for Christmas on Saturday, had been working as a program and policy manager at the Department of International Development since January. Her social media page said she was from London, previously attended the University of Manchester and University of London.

Friends told Sky News Dykes was “a very cautious, astute and highly intelligent woman.”

“She had the highest level of security training,” the unidentified friend said. "I know she followed procedures, especially in the job she did. She was very charming, sociable and dedicated to her work.”

The friend added, “She wasn't the kind of girl to be walking around on her own. She was always in control.”

Her family released a statement saying they were “devastated” by the death and requested the media respect their privacy “at this very difficult time.”

"The whole embassy is deeply shocked and saddened by this news," said British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter in a statement, "Our thoughts are with Becky's family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss."

The murder has shaken Lebanon, where such crimes, particularly against foreigners, are relatively uncommon. Beirut has been considered relatively safe despite recent chaos in the Middle East.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/12/18/uber-driver-with-criminal-past-arrested-after-british-woman-diplomat-30-murdered-left-by-side-road.html

(Cook County)-Man posing as Uber driver picked up women outside bars and raped them, prosecutors say

BYMINYVONNE BURKE

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, September 29, 2017, 12:10 PM

A Chicago man faces charges after prosecutors say he allegedly pretended to be an Uber driver to pick up five different women and then sexually assault them.

Musaab Afandi was initially arrested in March by Stokie Police after two women said the 33-year-old man attacked them after posing as their Uber driver. Those cases are still pending.

On Wednesday, Afandi appeared in court for a bond hearing after DNA testing allegedly linked him to three additional attacks, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Some of the sexual assault cases date back to last year.

Assistant State's Attorney Jillian Anselmo said during Wednesday's hearing that one 21-year-old female victim said she was attacked by Afandi in April of last year after he picked her up at Mullen's Bar in Wrigleyville. The woman said when Afandi pulled up she asked him if he was her Uber driver, CBS Chicago reports.

When he told her he was, the woman said she climbed into the back seat. After realizing that Afandi was not taking her to her destination, the woman asked him to pull over.

She told investigators that he stopped on a dark street, climbed into the back seat and raped her.

The woman was able to escape and called a friend. She then took a taxi home and went to the hospital the following day. DNA from the rape kit matched Afandi's, CBS reports.

A second victim told investigators that she was attacked by Afandi in December after leaving her job's Christmas party in River North. The 27-year-old woman said she got into what she thought was a taxi, driven by Afandi. She said she woke up in the back of the car naked with Afandi on top of her. The woman was able to escape before he sexually assaulted her.

Authorities said photos and a video of the woman were allegedly found on Afandi's cell phone.

In January, Afandi allegedly attacked another woman. The third victim said she was waiting with friends outside Old Crow Smokeshouse in Wrigleyville. After her friends left in a separate, official Uber, the 25-year-old woman said Afandi pulled up and she got in the backseat of the car. The woman said Afandi pulled onto a side street and raped her. After escaping, she ran to a nearby residence for help. DNA from a sexual assault kit was also allegedly linked to the phony driver.

Afandi is charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated criminal sexual assault. He was denied bail in Wednesday's hearing. DNA Info reports that an Uber spokeswoman urged riders to check the company's public awareness campaign to avoid getting into the wrong vehicle.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/fake-uber-driver-charged-raping-women-article-1.3530197

Uber Driver Charged With Assaulting Middletown Woman

The driver started kissing the 23-year-old woman and asked her to stay in the car, police say. She was able to escape and call for help.

By Margo Sullivan (Patch Staff) - Updated September 25, 2017 9:22 pm ET

MIDDLETOWN, RI—A Providence man was charged with Simple Assault or Battery on Sunday at 2:05 a.m. after he allegedly grabbed a woman in his car and started kissing her. The woman told police she had called Uber and arranged to be picked up at 41 North restaurant in Newport. She got into the front passenger seat, and the driver, Richard Jimenez, "began to hit on her," she told police. He allegedly told her she was pretty and asked for her telephone number. When they arrived at her street, she asked him to pull over so she could leave. He pulled her head toward him and started kissing her, she said. She protested and managed to get away. Fearful he would see where she lived, she walked into an apartment building a couple of doors away from her home and called her boyfriend. He called police.

Middletown police investigated and then stopped Jimenez, 32, on Lawrence Street. He denied dropping off anyone there and said he was just driving around. Later, he said he had dropped off a passenger. Police asked the woman to identify the suspect, and she confirmed he was the driver.

https://patch.com/rhode-island/middletown/uber-driver-charged-assaulting-middletown-woman

Uber to lose its license to operate in London

CHICAGO NEWS 09/22/2017, 08:20am

LONDON — Uber’s license to operate in London won’t be renewed because its practices endanger public safety and security, the local regulator said Friday, in a blow to a company already facing big questions over its corporate culture.

Transport for London says the company, whose app is used by 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers in London, isn’t “fit and proper” to hold a license to operate a private-hire vehicle service.

“TfL considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” the regulator said in a statement.

Uber was first licensed to operate in the city in 2012 and will see its current license expire on Sept. 30. The company said it plans to appeal the regulator’s decision, and can continue to operate until the appeals process is exhausted.

For its part, Uber accused the city of caving in to special interests “who want to restrict consumer choice.”

“Uber operates in more than 600 cities around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities here in the U.K.,” the company said. “This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers.”

Uber, founded in 2010 in San Francisco, has often faced opposition as it expanded. Taxi drivers complain that Uber drivers don’t have to comply with the same licensing standards, giving the ride-hailing service an unfair advantage and placing the public at risk.

The company, which provides a smartphone application that connects passengers with drivers who work as independent contractors, argues it isn’t a traditional transportation company.

In its decision, Transport for London singled out Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offenses and how it conducts background checks on drivers. TfL also took issue with Uber’s explanation of software that could be used to block regulators from gaining full access to the app and “prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he supported the decision, saying any operator of taxi services in the city “needs to play by the rules.”

“Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security,” he said. “I fully support TfL’s decision — it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security.”

Police in London accused Uber last month of not reporting a sexual assault by a driver on a passenger, allowing the driver to strike again. Metropolitan Police Inspector Neil Billany suggested in a letter that the company was putting concerns for its reputation over public safety.

At the time, Uber said it was surprised by the letter and that it had a good working relationship with the police.

But the company has been dogged by questions on its workplace culture. In July, former CEO Travis Kalanick resigned following criticism of his management style. Some 20 people, including some managers, were fired in June amid allegations of sexual harassment and bullying.

Its aggressive corporate culture has resulted in litigation around the world. John Colley, a strategy professor at Warwick Business School, said poor values ultimately bring companies down. Uber is now effectively banned from France, Spain and Belgium, and it is facing litigation and investigations around the world, he said.

“There is a very long list of businesses who have suffered for failing to uphold the level of values necessary,” Colley said. “Until Uber gets this message then it will suffer lost trade as a result of its deteriorating reputation.”

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/uber-to-lose-its-license-to-operate-in-london/

Mpls. police warn about rideshare groping incidents

 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KARE) - Minneapolis police are asking people using Uber and Lyft to use caution after a recent series of incidents involving drivers touching passengers inappropriately.

In the last two weeks, four different Uber and Lyft passengers called police saying they'd been sexually groped by their rideshare driver, according to Minneapolis police Sgt. Catherine Michal.

Three of the four people who were groped were sitting in the front seat at the time of the assault, said Michal.

Two of the gropings happened in Uptown, one was Downtown near Target Field, and the fourth incident was in southeast Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota, said Michal.

"The person that is getting the ride has either been intoxicated or has had alcohol in their system or has been distracted due to other things that are going on in their personal life," said Michal of the four recent incidents.

The victims include three women and a man, said Michal. Now police are trying to determine whether the cases involve the same suspect.

"The descriptions that have been given have been a black male, mid 20s, early 30s, and/or a Somali male," said Michal.

Police say if caught, the suspect will face criminal sexual conduct charges.

Police say they hope Uber and Lyft passengers will use a few safety precautions to prevent a similar incident.

"We appreciate that people aren't drinking and driving and that they're taking a ride, but if you're by yourself, we definitely recommend that you sit in the back seat, and if you're with other people, always stick together," said Michal.

Both Uber and Lyft put their drivers through a background check that includes a motor vehicle record review as well as a criminal background check. Drivers for both Uber and Lyft must have a criminal record that is free of felony, violent crime, or sexual offense within the last seven years.

http://www.valleynewslive.com/content/news/Mpls-police-warn-about-rideshare-groping-incidents-447254203.html

Uber driver accused of raping passenger in police custody

UPDATED: SEP 08 2017 10:22AM EDT

DETROIT (WJBK) - An Uber driver accused of raping a 21-year-old woman Thursday night has turned himself in to Detroit Police.

Investigators say 29-year-old Forid Ahmed, who was driving a gray 2013 Toyota Camry, picked up the 21-year- old woman up in the area of 5000 Cass.

The victim told police he drove her to an unknown location where he assaulted her.

The woman was able to escape his car in the area of 31st and Devereaux.

Detroit Police tell us Ahmed turned himself in Thursday night after seeing his picture in television news broadcast reports. Police say he was accompanied by his attorney. 

http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/uber-driver-accused-of-raping-passenger-in-police-custody

Woman Says Uber Driver Pushed Her From Speeding Car

 

ROBERT KAHN   August 22, 2017

VENTURA, Calif. (CN) — A Southern California woman claims in courtthat an Uber driver pushed her from a speeding car when, alarmed by his erratic behavior, she asked him to let her out.

Katherine Conner sued Uber Technologies and Rasier on Monday in Ventura County Superior Court. She seeks punitive damages on nine counts, including assault, battery, false imprisonment, gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Uber, whose corporate culture has come under intense public and legal scrutiny this year, could not be reached for comment after business hours Monday.

Conner’s 13-page lawsuit is short on specifics, aside from the frightening ride she says happened “(w)ithin the year last past,” with an Uber “driver defendant” in the city of Ventura.

She says when the Uber driver picked her up he headed in the wrong direction. When she complained he told her “in essence, that he was taking a shortcut, according to the complaint. When it became clear he was not taking her where she wanted to go, Conner says, she told him she wanted to get out of the car.

“At that point, the driver defendant became agitated and started driving fast,” making her “fear that the driver defendant intended to take her somewhere other than the destination and do her harm.”

She screamed at him, insisting that he let her out, Conner says, but he ignored her pleas to let her out of the car, “and, in fact, increased its speed in response and began shoving, pushing and assaulting and battering (her).”

The assault culminated, she says, “as the driver defendant was making a turn, and while the vehicle was still moving, the driver defendant reached over, opened the passenger-side door, forcibly pushed plaintiff Conner out of the subject vehicle and drove away.”

She had to go to a hospital emergency room and get continuing treatment for physical and psychological trauma, Conner says.

She is represented by Lewis Adelson with Costell & Cornelius, of Santa Monica.

Uber has been sued at least 433 times this year, according to the Courthouse News database, on claims of negligence, failure to train, exaggerating the background checks it claims to do on its drivers, many injury accidents, including an alleged death caused by an Uber driver using his mobile phone while driving, and class actions about its treatment of drivers, including failing to secure workers’ compensation insurance for them, and failing to serve disabled passengers. Its CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down after repeated complaints about an abusive workplace and a major shareholder recently sued the company to get Kalanick booted from the board.

https://www.courthousenews.com/woman-says-uber-driver-pushed-speeding-car/

Uber driver allegedly rapes unconscious Manhattan woman in his home after she falls asleep in his car

 

BYGRAHAM RAYMAN

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, August 18, 2017, 4:00 PM

An East Village woman suffered a terrifying ordeal Thursday when she passed out in an Uber car and the driver took her to his apartment and raped her, police sources said.

The 31-year-old victim called for an Uber at E. 52nd St. and 2nd Ave. about 2 a.m. She told the 47-year-old driver to take her home and then fell asleep in the car, sources said.

The twisted cabbie took her to his Flushing apartment and raped her while she was still unconscious, sources said. She woke up, realized with shock that she wasn’t home and confronted the driver.

“I used protection — please don't call police,” he said according to police sources.

She fled his home and reported what happened to police she found nearby on 41st Road and College Point Blvd.

She told police she had a few drinks before hailing the ride and gave no consent for sex, sources said. Medics took her to Bellevue Hospital for examination.

Cops have identified the driver and are trying to locate him, sources said.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/uber-driver-rapes-manhattan-woman-falls-asleep-car-article-1.3423665

Uber driver locked 19-year-old passenger in car, demanded sex

 

Muhammad Fahim, 44, faces charges of unlawful restraint for locking a passenger in his vehicle and demanding that she have sex with him.

(COOK COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

BYMEGAN CERULLO

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Sunday, August 20, 2017, 10:55 PM

An Uber driver in Chicago allegedly locked a 19-year old passenger in his car and demanded that she have sex with him, authorities said.

Muhammad Fahim, 44, was ordered held on $100,000 bail Saturday for three counts of unlawful restraint in connection to the July 4 incident, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Fahim was charged in the incident after police stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation last week.

The victim requested an Uber, but her request was somehow deleted, prosecutors said.

The woman volunteered to pay for her ride in cash, but Fahim instead demanded sex from her, Assistant State’s Attorney Mikah Soliunas said.

When she refused, Fahim repeatedly locked the car’s doors, the Tribune reported.

He only offered to release her if she agreed to his demand, Soliunas said.

As the vehicle slowed in traffic, the woman was able to escape. She appeared to be uninjured, authorities said.

An Uber spokesman called the rider’s account of what happened “troubling,” according to the Tribune.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/uber-driver-locked-passenger-car-demanded-sex-article-1.3428247

Former Uber driver admits to exposing himself to multiple young girls

Updated on August 16, 2017 at 4:24 PM Posted on August 16, 2017 at 8:45 AM

By Melissa Hanson

A former Uber driver will spend 2 and 1/2 years in jail after admitting to exposing himself to multiple young girls in Malden and Everett last year, officials said.

Paul Griffin, 29, of Malden, pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court on Tuesday to charges in connection with the series of indecent exposure incidents, according to the office of Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan.

Griffin was charged with six counts of open and gross lewdness, six counts of accosting and annoying a person of the opposite sex, operating a motor vehicle to endanger, failure to stop for police and resisting arrest.

Judge Christopher Barry-Smith sentenced Griffin to 2 and 1/2 years in the House of Correction, Ryan's office said. The judge also ordered that Griffin serve 3 years of probation, undergo a sex offender evaluation with all follow up treatment, stay away from all of the victims, wear a GPS monitoring bracelet for 6 months and refrain from any employment with a ride sharing or taxi company.

The first indecent exposure occurred on Aug. 7, 2016, read a statement from Ryan's office. Malden Police responded to the intersection of Mount Vernon and Starbird Street, where two juvenile girls told officers that a a man drove up next to them while they were walking and exposed himself.

On Aug. 27, another juvenile girl told Malden police that a week prior, she and a friend were walking on Hunting Street when a man in a car exposed himself to them.

http://www.masslive.com/news/worcester/index.ssf/2017/08/former_uber_driver_exposed_him.html

Uber sex scandal as police accuse taxi firm of failing to report sex attacks committed by drivers 

By Nicola Harley 

13 AUGUST 2017 • 12:44PM

Uberhas hit back at claims by the police that it has been covering up sex attacks by its drivers.

On Sunday a letter emerged accusing the firm of failing to report incidents by its drivers to the police.

Inspector Neil Billany, head of the Metropolitan Police's taxi and private hire unit, has expressed "significant concerns" that the firm is picking and choosing what it reports to the police to protect its reputation.

It alleges a driver committed a sex offence on a passenger and was allowed to continue in his job but later committed a second offence.

Uber says the first offence was when a driver hugged a passenger and the second offence involved the same driver touching a passengers leg.

It has expressed "surprise" at the letter as it says it works with the police and has even created a dedicated unit to tackling any incidents which is run by former Met officers.

In the letter, which was released under the Freedom of Information Act, the officer claims Uber is "deciding what to report" and only informing police of "less serious matters" that would be "less damaging to its reputation".

In the letter, which was originally sent to Helen Chapman the Head of Taxis and Private Hire at Tfl, Insp Billany claims the police have not been informed of six alleged sex assaults on passengers by the company, two suspected public order offences and an alleged assault.

He said the victims had been given assurances by the firm that their alleged attacks would be reported. 

Uber says it up to the individual to report crimes to the police and that they will always help with follow up inquiries and "strive to get the right balance between supporting the police in their investigations, while preserving the rights of individuals".  

"While we were surprised by this letter – as we don’t feel it reflects the good working relationship we have with the police and the extensive support we provide – we would welcome further collaboration and to establish how we can do more to strengthen our existing processes," a spokesman for Uber said.

"The safety of riders and drivers using the Uber app is our top priority.We use technology to bring accountability and transparency to every ride.

"Uber does not routinely report incidents retrospectively to the police on behalf of others – we advise those involved to make a report themselves and then assist the police with any subsequent enquiries.

"If there is a serious incident involving a licensed driver they are prevented from using our app. "We always inform the regulator, Tfl, when a driver is deactivated from the Uber app for any form of unsatisfactory conduct and the reason why we have done so, and work closely with them to provide any further information that would be of use."

Tfl has says the letter will form part of a review into whether Uber's licence is extended in September.

A spokesman for the Met added: "The Metropolitan Police Service will not tolerate any offences committed upon passengers of private hire vehicles and will robustly pursue offenders.

"Our dedicated taxi and private hire policing team are at the forefront of tackling illegal Taxi and Private hire activity and carry out regular operational night time deployments to target offenders.

"If anyone experiences a sexual assault of any kind we would urge them to come forward and tell police immediately.

"Equally we would expect those who run dedicated taxi and private hire vehicles to act responsibly and promptly report all serious allegations of criminal activity to police in the best interests of public safety."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/13/uber-sex-scandal-police-accuse-taxi-firm-failing-report-sex/

Uber passenger's nightmare ride-share experience

14th August 2017 5:45 AM

AN UBER driver will front court next month accused of refusing to allow a female passenger to leave his vehicle.

Initial investigations suggest the woman was travelling to a licensed premises at Fortitude Valley about 11pm on Saturday night when the Uber driver refused to pull over.

The 45-year-old driver allegedly spent over an hour driving across Brisbane and New Farm before he continued south via the Clem7 Tunnel.

The 25-year-old victim tried to get the attention of passing motorists by opening her door.

The man stopped on the M1 where the let the woman go, before she called police for help.

Detectives have since charged the Logan Central man with one count of deprivation of liberty.

He is expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 5.

Police have confirmed the woman was not physically injured.

A spokesman for Uber said the alleged incident was concerning and the company had "immediately blocked the driver's access to the app".

"We are assisting police with their investigation in anyway we can," he said.

"The safety of Uber riders is paramount, and that's why every driver on the app must hold a valid Driver Authority issued by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, including a criminal backgound and driver history check."

https://m.news-mail.com.au/news/uber-passengers-nightmare-ride-share-experience/3212004/

FAKE UBER DRIVERS POSE REAL THREAT

Uber has quietly initiated a campaign to warn riders about fake drivers. About time they did.

Kidnapping. Sexual assault. Robbery. Uber and Lyft driver-impostors have been wreaking havoc on unsuspecting passengers for years. Our campaign lists 63 news reports of fake Uber and Lyft drivers harming riders.

Lately, there are more fakes than ever. During July, six news reports surfaced about Uber impostors hurting passengers—most involving alleged sexual assault or robbery.

These fakes vividly illustrate why it’s crucial to rigorously background-check actual Uber and Lyft drivers: Drivers control the car and its occupant.  Posing as a driver perfectly enables criminals to locate victims, secure them, and transport them to a different location to avoid getting caught.

Fake Uber and Lyft drivers who are thieves seem to operate in pairs. Typically, the second person is riding shotgun and somehow subdues or intimidates the passenger sitting in back.

As riders, men have been somewhat immune to God-awful experiences in Uber and Lyft cars. Not so with fakes. A crew of two women have repeatedly robbed men and women in New Orleans. Now, maybe they’ve franchised in AtlantaChicago has also repeatedly been the scene of fake Uber and Lyft drivers robbing unsuspecting passengers.

How do fake Uber and Lyft drivers find victims? Would-be riders are probably obvious.  They are likely standing on a street corner, late at night, obviously waiting, staring intently at their phone. Maybe these riders are inebriated or just in a hurry to get home so they don’t compare the driver’s name, face, vehicle and license plate info with what’s provided by the app. Maybe the reason why so many men have been victims of fakes is they are less vigilant about double-checking these items.

Another reason passengers climb into a fake Uber may be to save a buck. Fake Uber drivers—or real Uber drivers doing cash deals outside of the app—have become so prevalent at New York’s JFK and La Guardia Airports that Uber itself had to issue an advisory to passengers: Don’t do cash trips!

My God, we agree. Don’t arrange cash trips with Uber and Lyft drivers. There’s no insurance coverage whatsoever on these rides. Cash trips are like time bombs.

So, how are Uber and Lyft at fault for impostors?

First off, the “ridesharing” business model lends itself to fakes. It doesn’t employ vehicles with hard-to-falsify external markings. Fake drivers can just print out the Uber or Lyft logo. Undercover New York cops may be posing as Uber and Lyft drivers by doing just this. (Better tell Uber’s anti-impostor effort).

Maybe the fake-Uber-driver cops are trying to interdict the NYC Uber-branded fentanyl and heroin ring?

Second, public policy-wise, taxicabs have long been considered a form of (or extension of) public transportation. Taxicab drivers are publicly licensed. But Uber and Lyft drivers are not. Uber and Lyft go out of their way to protect drivers’ anonymity; the corporations have repeatedly refused to share driver identities with cities. Thus, unlike taxicabs, there is no local regulator or police officer on the street who can check a license.

Meaning: There’s no way for Uber and Lyft impostors to get caught by the cops or any other local regulatory agency with a street presence.

That responsibility now rests with passengers.

http://www.whosdrivingyou.org/blog/fake-uber-drivers-pose-real-threat

Uber driver accused of sexually assaulting woman on Brisbane's north side

By Kristian Silva

Posted Tue at 9:16pm

Police have appealed for witnesses after a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver on Brisbane's north side overnight.

The driver had dropped a group of friends off at an Alderley home, before continuing to Gordon Park with the woman.

It was there the 22-year-old woman claimed she was grabbed and assaulted about 12:30am.

The woman said the driver then dropped her home.

Investigators have appealed for any witnesses who saw a blue 2015 Renault Captur to come forward.

The driver was interviewed and released without charge on Wednesday morning.

An Uber spokesman said the company was assisting police with inquiries.

It is the third alleged sexual assault linked to Brisbane Uber drivers since July.

Police have said the cases are unrelated, but in the past month have made appeals for women who have been assaulted in ride-sharing vehicles to come forward.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-09/uber-driver-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-woman/8788178

Uber driver accused of raping a schoolgirl, 16, while telling her 'it's alright baby girl' granted bail

 

  • Uber driver was charged this month with raping a 16-year-old schoolgirl
  • Girl was returning to a friend's home when she was allegedly picked up
  • Man allegedly took her to a dark allotment to rape and sexually assault her
  • Seminal fluid was detected on the victim's underwear, the court heard

By Australian Associated Press

PUBLISHED: 07:56 EDT, 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 08:01 EDT, 25 July 2017

An Uber driver accused of raping a Queensland high school student has been granted bail despite evidence placing him at the scene of the crime.
The 37-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been in custody since he was charged earlier this month with raping a 16-year-old passenger.
The girl was returning to a friend's home after buying a tub of ice cream when she was allegedly picked up by the man about 9pm on July 7.

Two friends had offered to go with the girl on the return trip to the supermarket but she told them: 'It's alright, I'll be 10 minutes max'.

Police allege the man drove in the direction of the girl's destination before terminating the trip and taking her to a 'dark, spare allotment'.

'I have just broken up with my girlfriend today and I am feeling horny,' he allegedly said.

'But I think you can fix my problem'.

The man then allegedly indecently touched, raped and sexually assaulted the girl as she cried and repeatedly told him no.

'It's alright baby girl. Spread your legs,' he allegedly said.

The girl, who was returned to her friend's home, later revealed to a friend and her mother that she had been raped.

The driver 'strongly denies' the allegations against him and has been described by character references as a kind-hearted family man who respects women.

Court documents filed in the Brisbane Supreme Court show data taken from his phone place him on the exact route the victim alleged the assault occurred.

Seminal fluid has also been detected on the victim's underwear but not in the man's vehicle, which police noted had been 'recently cleaned'.

The man, who had been working up to five days a week as an Uber driver since January, is not allowed to work for the company or as a taxi driver as part of his bail conditions.

He has also been placed on a curfew, surrendered his passport and must report to police three times a week.

The case will return to the Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 7.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4728362/Uber-driver-accused-raping-schoolgirl-16-gets-bail.html#ixzz4p64p9haW 
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UBER: WHAT’S REPORTED IS “DEEPLY DISTURBING”

July 13, 2017  

Google “Uber” and “deeply disturbing.” See it?

“Uber” and “deeply troubling” works, too. Uber uses the same rote response for news stories involving sexual assault of passengers by its drivers.

Here’s Uber’s full boilerplate of late: “What’s reported in the complaint is deeply troubling and something we take extremely seriously.”

Here’s something truly disturbing. Uber and Lyft drivers stand accused of 16 sexual assaults in news stories published between June 6 and July 12 of 2017. Sixteen in a 37-day span. An average of one every 2.3 days.

One accused Uber driver in Kansas City, Yahkhahnahn Ammi, served eight years of a 16-year prison sentence for attempted murder. While in prison, the future driver was known as Perrie D. Gibson.

When he got out, he changed his name.

Uber’s name-based background checks can’t and won’t screen out this attempted murderer. Uber has had other convicted murderers sign up with fake names.

Rather than us discussing this, let’s listen in on an UberPeople.net driver forum threadon this story:

“I guess an attempted murder conviction disappears off the uber background check with a name change,” says one driver.

“Sad that it’s that easy,” responds another.

“Or you can just have your brother who ISN’T a registered sex offender open a driver account and give you the phone,” chimes in a third.

Here comes an alternate view.

“Ummm. Fares are low. So ummm. Zero effs given. Not going through nsa style checks jyst to haul jerks around for 60 cents mile,” says “Skepticaldriver.”

By “nsa style” we can assume Skepticaldriver means fingerprint-based criminal background checks conducted by law enforcement. He or she is pointing to something that grates. Uber cuts fares again and again. The corporation has turned driving into such a crap job that this driver isn’t going to do one more thing that doesn’t make him some money. It’s adding insult to injury, Skepticaldriver seems to be saying.

After years of fare cuts, Uber has refused to require fingerprint background checks partially on the grounds these type checks will hurt driver retention. But it’s the fare cuts and other varieties of driver abuse which have really hurt driver retention.

Meanwhile, as previously noted: 16 reported sexual assaults involving (mostly) Uber drivers in 37 days.

Here’s how the Kansas City Uber driver story ends: “In a statement Uber says they are taking the matter extremely seriously.”

In an exceedingly hollow statement that signifies nothing.

 

http://www.whosdrivingyou.org/blog/uber-whats-reported-is-deeply-disturbing