A 31-year-old woman says her Uber driver grabbed her face and tried to kiss her after she fell asleep in his car this week, echoing complaints and charges filed by passengers all over the country.
The tipster, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells us she requested an Uber at around 2 a.m. Thursday morning after ending her DJ set at a bar in the East Village. After the driver picked her up, she fell asleep in the car. "I was woken up by him touching my face from the front seat. I was very taken aback, I didn't know where I was," she said. "I'd been drinking, I was tired."
According to the tipster, the driver then crawled over to the backseat and grabbed her shoulders. "I tried to push him away," she said. "He grabbed my face and tried to kiss me, I pushed him away even harder. Luckily the door was open, I grabbed my things and I ran out."
She contacted Uber, and a customer support representative told her the company would follow up with the driver and take the necessary precautions to ensure the driver would no longer have access to the app. She also notified the NYPD, and says police are investigating the incident as a sexual assault.
Uber says the driver is licensed by the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission and passed the TLC background check, which includes fingerprinting and a review of any criminal record. The driver has since been suspended from the Uber platform. "This is a troubling report and we have immediately suspended the driver as we investigate further. We stand ready to assist the NYPD as needed," Uber spokesperson Matthew Wing told us in a statement.
Still, the victim says she's quite shaken by the incident. "I take Uber all the time. Uber needs to work on screening their drivers. A lot of us depend on them to get us home safe," she told us. "I am legitimately scared to take an Uber car."