Entering someone else’s car is always a risk, even if that car is a taxi. That’s especially true if you’re inebriated, the state in which people most often are in dire need of a ride.
The risk is something every car service has to overcome. There’s an expectation that the driver will get you home safely, but what if he or she takes you somewhere else?
That’s allegedly what happened to a 26-year-old woman who rode with an Uber driver to get home from a West Hollywood, California, night club. According to a Tuesday press release from the Los Angeles Police Department, instead of finding herself at home, she woke up in a motel room in Van Nuys, next to her shirtless driver, Frederick Dencer. The woman left the motel and called 911 from a convenience store.
Apparently the trip wasn’t an “official” Uber ride, because the woman didn’t use the Uber app to summon the car. News station KTLA offers up these details
Investigators believe Dencer had been hanging out at the club after another fare and was solicited by a valet to take the victim home, the release said.
“Had this been an official Uber assignment, Dencer would have received the victim’s home address with the fare, but in this case [she] was too drunk to tell him,” the LAPD statement said.
Uber issued a statement
saying that the incident may not be “Uber-related.”
Uber became aware this afternoon of a serious incident in Los Angeles The facts are unknown at this stage and it’s certainly unclear that this is an Uber-related incident, as the driver in question was not logged in, connected to or operating on the platform at the time. We have reached out to authorities and will work with them to help uncover the facts. It is also our policy to immediately suspend a driver’s account following any serious allegations, which we have done. Nothing is more important to Uber than the safety of our riders.
Clearly, the company is attempting to distance itself from what seems to be an attempted sexual assault, but if the LAPD’s statement is to be believed, the driver was nonetheless acting as a driver for a car service. He was simply summoned by a valet rather than a mobile app.
to the KTLA report certainly seem to skew toward the incident being “Uber-related.” Many of the commenters say they saw something like this coming, and one simply said, “Don’t use Uber.”