An Uber ride from New York City to Westchester County turned nightmarish for a woman last year when her driver ended up kidnapping and sexually assaulting her. Now a federal judge has sentenced the driver to three years in prison for kidnapping as well as wire fraud—the driver charged the woman $1,047.55 for the trip.
Harbir Parmar had pleaded guilty for the 2018 incident earlier this year. According to the complaint, the woman requested the Uber on February 21st, with Parmar arriving around 11:30 p.m. The victim, who wanted to travel from NYC to White Plains, fell asleep during the ride and "woke up with Parmar in the backseat of the vehicle with his hand under her shirt touching the top of her breast.” She reached for her phone to call for help, but Parmar had apparently taken it from her and she couldn’t find it.
When woman demanded her phone back, prosecutors say that Parmar denied having it. Then, after he got back into the front seat to drive, the woman didn’t recognize her surroundings. He allegedly refused her requests to be taken to White Plains or a police station.
Parmar eventually let her out on the side of a highway in Connecticut. The woman memorized the vehicle's license plate and walked to a convenience store in Branford, Connecticut, where a store employee called a cab for her. In the morning, the woman called Uber to file a complaint... and found out she was charged $1,047.55 for the ride.
Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said, "Many people rely on rideshare apps to navigate New York safely. But when a woman hailed a ridesharing car driven by Harbir Parmar, her ride home took a turn for the worst. With Parmar’s lengthy prison term, he will no longer be able to take advantage of ridesharing customers."
The U.S. Attorney's office also found that Parmar had entered false destinations for Uber customers multiple times and also falsely charged customers for cleaning fees (like claiming a customer vomited when they hadn't), resulting in thousands of fake charges.