Toronto police have charged an Uber driver with kidnapping and forcible confinement after a passenger alleged that he refused to allow her leave the car and instead attempted to take her to a private location.
Police responded to the call on Sunday afternoon. The 18-year-old passenger claimed the driver had initially attempted to engage her in inappropriate conversation and had made “unwanted advances”, police said in a news release.
The woman told police that she had then asked the driver to let her out of the car. The driver refused, she alleged, and instead attempted to forcibly drive her to another location. The woman managed to escape and called police.
The 24-year-old driver, identified by police as Sukhbaj Singh, was arrested on Monday morning and charged with forcible confinement, kidnapping and assault. He is due back in court in early July.
Uber responded to the charges with a two-line statement. “What’s been described is unacceptable and is not tolerated on the Uber app,” said a spokesperson for the company. “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.”
Last year the company rejected a suggestion that it had received thousands of customer complaints in the US about rape and sexual assault. In a post on Medium, the company claimed that between December 2012 and August 2015, it had received five complaints alleging rape and 170 complaints with a “legitimate claim of sexual assault”.
The company noted that every trip through Uber is tracked by GPS and drivers are rated at the end of each trip. “This is on top of a robust system of background checks,” the company added.
Tuesday’s charges are among the several that have been laid against Uber drivers operating in Toronto and the surrounding area in recent years; in 2015 a driver was charged with sexual assault after allegedly attacking a female passenger, while 2016 saw two drivers face charges of sexual assault stemming from separate alleged incidents.
Earlier this year, Toronto police arrested a 26-year-old driver, charging him with sexual assault after a female passenger alleged he had climbed into the back seat and assaulted her after stopping the car in a secluded area.
To read more, please visit: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/23/uber-cana...