Uber driver charged with kidnapping, allegedly wouldn't let girl, 15, out of car

By Chad Pradelli

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 11:17AM

The proliferation of ride-sharing services has some parents using Uber and Lyft to taxi their children around, however, it's against the policy of both companies and can prove to be unsafe.

One local mother says an Uber driver allegedly abducted her daughter and, even after he was charged, he continued to drive for the company for months.

Shakara Parks said it was around 9:30 p.m. on a chilly March night when the Uber driver picked up her 15-year-old daughter.

The teen had just wrapped up a hair appointment, but said the Uber ride quickly turned uncomfortable.

"I received multiple comments saying that I was pretty," she said.

The girl texted her mom, as she was told to do when her mom ordered the ride.

Her text said: "I'm in the Uber and I feel uncomfortable."

Parks pleaded with her daughter to tell the driver, Robert Beamon, to let her out.

"The man then put his hand on the lock and said 'No, you're coming with me,'" the teen said.

Parks said her daughter began to cry.

"I said, 'Get out the car.' She said 'I can't.' I said 'What do you mean you can't?' She said, 'His hand is on the lock button,'" said Parks.

The teen said she kept screaming and kicking the door.

"'Please, please let me out. Please, please,'" she said. "He didn't let me out."

The alleged ordeal is a stark reminder of what can happen to your child when he or she jumps into an Uber with a stranger.

Both Uber and Lyft have a policy where minors are not allowed to use their services without a parent. But some busy parents, like Parks, are using the ride-sharing services to transport their kids to or from events.

Action News had a 14-year-old sign up on both apps with parental permission.

He used his recently acquired debit card and within a half hour he was on the road as we monitored his travels.

Three times he was able to get an Uber driver to pick him up with no questions asked. A Lyft driver did the same.

"I still blame myself. Had I would have just left school and got her myself this wouldn't have happened," said Parks.

Parks' daughter says she escaped her frightening Uber ride after Beamon became distracted by another car.

"He got frightened and his hand went off the lock and I kicked the door open and was able to get out," she said.

Authorities charged Beamon with kidnapping and other related charges in May, yet according to reviews, he continued to drive for five months.

Parks said she repeatedly called Uber to complain the 59-year-old was still on road.

"Uber told me that they cannot release any information to me because it's none of my business," she said.

Uber released a statement that reads in part: "What's been described is extremely troubling and upon learning of it we immediately removed the driver's access to the app. We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement."

Uber went on to say drivers can request that passengers provide a driver's license or ID card. If a rider is underage, they shouldn't allow them to ride.

Beaman has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He declined to comment through his attorney.


Toronto Uber driver charged with kidnapping 18-year-old passenger

An 18-year-old woman was able to escape after Uber driver allegedly refused to let her out of car

By Trevor Dunn, CBC News 

Posted: May 23, 2017 11:35 AM ET  

A 24-year-old Uber driver has been charged with kidnapping one of his passengers.

According to Toronto police, an 18-year-old woman arranged for an Uber ride on Sunday around 4:00 p.m near Eglinton Avenue East and Dunfield Avenue in the Yonge-Eglinton area.

The passenger told police the driver engaged in inappropriate conversation and made "unwanted advances."

When the woman refused and asked to be let out of the car — a Nissan Altima — police said the Uber driver refused and attempted to forcibly take her to another location.

The woman was able to escape and called police.

Toronto police charged the Uber driver Sukhbaj Singh, who is from Belleville, Ont., with forcible confinement, kidnapping and assault, on Monday.

Singh has been released on bail and is due back in court in early July.

Driver immediately removed

Uber called the allegations "unacceptable" and something that is "not tolerated on the Uber app."

The company was contacted by Toronto police on Sunday, shortly after the incident was reported.

"We immediately removed this driver's access following this report and will provide any information to law enforcement that would be helpful for their investigation," an Uber spokesperson said in an email.



    Boy gets kidnapped by Uber driver, Uber asks cops to wait for ‘permission’ to give details

    Rideshare Companies are NOT safe for children. As soon as the driver turns their phone off the vehicle tracking is gone!
    — Jaime Hjelm (Fleet owner with A#1 Cab Dispatch Inc.)

    The Uber officials kept on giving excuses without giving details of the cab’s whereabouts, the police said.

    TNM Staff| Monday, October 31, 2016 - 10:30

    An Uber driver abducted a fifteen-year-old boy, Gavin (name changed), for over six hours in Bengaluru on Saturday, according to a police complaint by the parents. 

    According to The New Indian Express, Gavin had booked a cab at 6:30pm from his tuition center in HSR Layout and the accused driver, identified as Tabrez, reached the pick-up point in 15 minutes.

    His parents started getting worried when Gavin had not reached by 7:30pm. Narrating his ordeal, Gavin said that he had been forced to crouch in the rear leg space for over three hours as the driver drove around.

    According to the Deccan Herald, Gavin’s father got a call from the cab driver saying that Gavin had been abducted and would be released only if he gave money. 

    Gavin’s parents could not contact Uber and sought help from a friend, who asked them book another cab and get the Uber office number. 

    The Uber officer gave Gavin’s parents the number of the driver, however, he told them that he had dropped the boy near his house at 7:30pm. After repeated queries, when Tabrez’s replies were unconvincing and when he also switched off the mobile, the couple sought help from the police. 

    The Varthur police contacted the driver. Fearing arrests, Tabrez left the boy in front of a hotel in Whitefield area at 12:30am but took boy’s school bag and phone. 

    Police said that Uber did not respond properly to their request for information. “They kept on giving excuses without giving details of the cab’s whereabouts. Despite the gravity of the situation, they said that they were required to take permission from the seniors and gave no details,” the officer said

    Update: DCP East Boralingaiah told TNM that the driver has been arrested. He also added that the details are sketchy and said the parents did not mention anything about a ransom. 


    Police: Uber Driver Kidnapped DC Passenger, Took Her to Maryland Hotel

    An Uber driver picked up a drunken woman at a D.C. bar and took her to a hotel in College Park, Maryland, instead of driving her home to Virginia, police say.

    Westagne Pierre, 29, was charged with assault, kidnapping and fraudulent use of a credit card after Prince George's County police said he picked up a woman the night of Oct. 18.

    An Uber user used the ride-hailing app to send the friend home to Northern Virginia after the friend blacked out from drinking, police said.

    Pierre picked up the woman and drove her to a Budget Inn, police said. Surveillance video footage showed him lift the motionless woman out of the car, officials said.

    Pierre is accused of then leaving the hotel, driving to a 7-Eleven and charging $14 to the victim's credit card. Those charges appeared on her credit card statement, police said.

    The victim told police she never gave Pierre permission to take her to the hotel room or use her credit card.

    Additional charges against Pierre are pending after consultations with the state's attorney's office.

    "This is deeply upsetting. The driver has been banned from the app, and we are working closely with police to support their investigation," a spokesperson for Uber told News4.

    Source: Police: Uber Driver Kidnapped DC Passenger, Took Her to Maryland Hotel | NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Police-Uber-Driver-Kidnapped-DC-Passenger-Took-Her-to-Maryland-Hotel-399089291.html#ixzz4Og8UTEUB