A woman got into a car on the Lower East Side one night last month under the impression that the man behind the wheel was the Uber driver she had requested. But the driver of the black four-door sedan was not affiliated with Uber, and proceeded to take her on a terrifying ride from East Houston Street up to the northeast edge of Manhattan.
According to the NYPD, the woman got into the car at approximately 1:15 a.m. on Saturday, May 15th, by the intersection of Margin Street and East Houston Street. Police say that as the driver headed north on the FDR Drive, the victim realized he was not taking her to her residence on the Upper East Side. As he proceeded past the 96th Street exit on the FDR, the driver demanded money while threatening to shoot and sexually assault the woman.
The woman, who has not been named, complied, and handed over her iPhone, wallet, $20 in cash, a pair of gold earrings, her jacket, and other items. The driver pulled off the highway at an unknown location in northern Manhattan and continued north, but the woman was able to escape from the car when it stopped at a red light on Park Avenue.
The suspect is described as a black man in his 30s, short hair, dark skin, with a beard. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.
In May of 2015, a woman was raped by a driver who had a fake Uber sign in his car window. We reached out to Uber to ask if they have any guidance for customers to help them avoid getting into a car with a fake Uber driver, and we'll update if we hear back.