It seems as though Uber is always under siege. Travelers either love it (for the low cost, convenient, app-generated rides) or hate it (for all the bad publicity about being ripped off, molested and well even raped). Which brings us today’s news story on eturbonews about a22-year-old British woman who claims she was raped by an Uber driver in Sydney. According to the piece, the alleged victim who had been drinking in a local pub and was a bit high was walking in the Sydney suburb of Vaucluse at about 1230 a.m. last Sunday, Oct. 18 when Uber driver Muhammad Naveed offered her a ride in a Hyundi i30. The female figuring he was a cabbie hopped in. After a few blocks things turned ugly according to the the woman who said the Muhammad pulled into a side street and asked her to sit in the back seat. She obliged figuring he didn’t want her to pass out in the front. But she says that when she woke up Muhammad was having sex with her. He drove her home after.
Eturbonews says that details are a bit strange and that perhaps there was some misleading by the victim but still Uber issued a statement that read, ‘Our thoughts remain with the victim. We will do everything we can to work with police’. The 39-year-old Uber driver, allegedly spotted the woman walking along Bayswater Road holding her shoes after she left the World Bar night club in Kings Cross where she had been with friends. She had only been visiting Australia for three weeks. The driver was also caught on film from CCTV cameras at a gas station where h e went in and bought condoms at about 1 a.m.
Taking a ride with any stranger is always dicey, but one wouldn’t expect an Uber driver to be suspect. Or would they? On Aug. 4, 2015 the Los Angeles Times reported that four Uber drivers had criminal records. “The drivers have been convicted of child exploitation, identity theft, manslaughter and driving under the influence, according to court records. Each offense would make them ineligible for a city of Los Angeles taxi permit,” said the article. Last July another Uber driver was accused of raping a woman in Dallas, Texas. The story, which ran on the Dallas Morning News online said, “The Uber driver accused of sexually assaulting a passenger in Dallas served time in federal prison on a weapons charge, records indicate. Talal Ali Chammout, 56, of Plano was arrested Wednesday and remained in custody early Saturday at the Dallas County jail. His bail was $100,000.” A search for videos resulted at least a half dozen cases of alleged or proven sexual assaults by Uber drivers along with protests by airport cabbies around the world (see video) who don’t want the competition.
Perhaps Uber needs to vet its drivers bett