CPD: Man posing as ride-hailing driver sexually assaulted woman

This is the problem with weak regulations for Rideshares. These fake taxis can be easily mistaken and women are being raped and assaulted frequently. Improper temporary markings would never fly in the taxi industry.
— Jaime Hjelm (Fleet owner with A#1 Cab Dispatch Inc.)


CHICAGO NEWS 11/06/2016, 06:28pm

@danielbrown2011 | email

Sign-Up for our News & Politics Newsletter   Sign-Up

A man posing as a ride-hailing driver sexually assaulted a female passenger early Sunday in the North Side Lake View neighborhood.

The 21-year-old woman ordered a ride about 2 a.m. in the near 3400 North Halsted and was picked up by a man posing as a driver, according to a community alert from Chicago Police.

After she was dropped off, the man lured her back into his car by telling her she forgot something, police said. The man then drove off and later sexually assaulted her in the backseat of the vehicle.

The suspect was described as a 40 to 45-year-old man, weighing 300 pounds, with a tan complexion, round face, white stubbly beard, bushy black eyebrows, and short black hair, police said. He wore a back windbreaker and spoke with a heavy accent.

He drove an older beige and tan or white four-door vehicle, possibly a Toyota Camry or Corolla, police said.


Man posing as Lyft Driver Wanted for Murder


August 10, 2016 5:31 PM By Robbie Owens

CARROLLTON (CBS11) – Arnold Pinilla called for a ride sharing service to get home safely from a Carrollton restaurant in the early morning hours of July 31.

But, the 34-year-old who loved soccer and family gatherings was laterstabbed to death in the street after getting into a car that was driven by an imposter.

“He was a really sweet guy, really happy,” said his mother, Esperanza Balzguera, while wiping away tears as she faced reporters in the family’s Garland home. “He loved to get together.”

As detectives released surveillance video Wednesday of the suspect’s vehicle and a sketch, the family is pleading for someone who recognizes him to come forward.

murder suspect vehicle (surveillance)

“He [the suspect] needs to pay for what he did,” said his sister Claudia Reyes, interpreting for her mother. “She knows that nothing will bring her son back; but, he needs to pay for what he did.”

Relatives insist that the man could not have been anyone that Pinilla knew– as he was a fun-loving, likable person who never got into fights– and was more likely to be seen exchanging hugs and good times instead of disagreements.

“He was the soul of everything,” said Reyes, “always very uplifting.”

According to Carrollton Police, when Pinilla and his girlfriend climbed into the car they quickly realized something was wrong.

“Inside the vehicle, it didn’t look like a ride share car should look. The driver’s behavior wasn’t what it should have been for a professional ride share service. It wasn’t long before they realized they needed to get out of that vehicle,” said Jolene DeVito, Carrollton Police Spokesperson, “unfortunately, it still ended in Arnold’s death.”

Carrollton Police are urging ride share customers to confirm the identities of drivers when using the services but, want to clarify that the driver called to the scene was not involved.

“This was not a LYFT driver, this was not an UBER driver,” said DeVito, “this was someone taking advantage of someone trying to do the right and using a ride service. The real LYFT driver came along shortly thereafter.”

Police say the couple was not robbed- but, the man asked for payment before arguing with Pinilla and fatally stabbing him. Pinilla later died in the street near Myers and Belt Line.

Surveillance cameras positioned nearby captured images of the white four door sedan. The car has a sunroof and tan interior. The suspect is described as a Hispanic man in his mid-30s with a “skinny” build, standing between 5’3″-5″6″. He spoke Spanish; but, with what has been described as a “coastal accent”, perhaps suggesting that he’s a native of Puerto Rico or Cuba.

Meanwhile, the community is being warned.

“He’s willing to kill, so I’d say that he’s pretty dangerous,” said DeVito, “and I’d say we need to find him.”

“We don’t know if he’s done this before… we don’t know if he will do it again,” said Reyes. “If you see him call authorities, because he’s a threat: to all your sons and daughters.”