Woman says Uber driver may have witnessed her being raped in back of his vehicle

UberReallySucks

Well-Known Member
Woman says Uber driver may have witnessed her being raped in back of his vehicle

By Joe Holleman St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 5, 2016
Updated August 5, 2016 8:20pm

ST. LOUIS » A woman believes an Uber driver may have witnessed her being raped by a man in the back of his vehicle last month — and also that the company and St. Louis police are dragging their heels in the investigation.

Police refuse to comment about the investigation, but told the woman and her mother that “technical obstacles” are preventing Uber from providing information.

According to a police report, the woman told investigators the incident occurred early July 3, after she had been drinking at the Wheelhouse, a popular nightclub in downtown St. Louis.

The woman said she recalled being in the back seat of a vehicle with two male suspects who had first approached her at the club. She told police she was assaulted at some point during the ride. She also told police she was dropped off at a friend’s house, with the suspects already having left the vehicle. She provided descriptions of the two men.

“I remember sitting in front of my friend’s house and just crying,” the woman said in a telephone interview, then expressed concerns about the investigation.

“The driver seems to be a big piece of the puzzle and it seems to be taking a long time” to locate him, she said.

In the interview, the woman also said she discovered her purse and phone were missing when she reached her destination. She added that the driver tried to help her to find the items, but with no success.

The woman’s mother also has contacted police regularly about the lack of progress in the case.

“I’m not asking the police to solve this crime in a month. I know it doesn’t work like that,” the mother said. “I’m just asking (Uber) to help identify one driver.”

As of Aug. 3, the mother said the company had yet to provide police with information as to whether any Uber driver had picked up a fare at that time, date and location.

“Clearly, the best witness is the driver,” the mother said. “And the crime scene is his car. How does it take that long to get that basic piece of information?”

Meanwhile, a discussion Friday on a private Facebook page for Uber drivers may shed more light on the incident. The discussion began after this article was first published on stltoday.com.

In an exchange about 2 p.m. Friday between Uber drivers, one person identifies himself as a driver who experienced a similar incident on July 3 — one the driver says did not result in a likely sexual assault, thanks to his efforts.

The driver tells the group that he got a call (“ping”) from a male customer through the Uber application, asking for a car at the Wheelhouse around closing time, 3 a.m., on July 3. The driver said there was only one male passenger and one intoxicated female passenger; and the two did not seem to know each other.

The driver said he had negative feelings about the male passenger, who wanted the driver to take him and the woman to a hotel.

The driver said he kept distracting the male passenger from these efforts and eventually dropped the male passenger off near Page Boulevard and Interstate 270.

He then took the woman to a location that roughly coincides with what the woman has told police.

Then, the driver said within hours he filed a passenger incident report with Uber management, describing what happened. The driver complained to the group that Uber quickly classified the incident as “resolved,” so he replied that he was dissatisfied with that response. On July 4, he received another response from Uber management, again stating they were sorry the driver had the negative experience.

Uber Missouri general manager Sagar Shah did not return several phone messages left this week. On Friday, an Uber spokeswoman in San Francisco said Shah now works for the company in Michigan.

The spokeswoman said she could not comment about what technical issues could be delaying the process, and provided only the following statement:

“We’ve been fully cooperating with the St. Louis Police Department as soon as we received a request regarding a driver who could be a potential witness. We’ve been working to help identify the driver based on information provided to us by police and will assist in their investigation in any way possible,” the statement said.

The mother said her daughter told her about the incident when she returned home later the morning of July 3. Both then went to a hospital in St. Louis County, where the woman was examined, her clothes were bagged as evidence and city police interviewed her, the mother said.

The woman and her mother asked not to be identified.

The police report, which lists the alleged incident as “rape,” does not describe the auto as an Uber vehicle, only a “ride-share vehicle.”

But in a July 30 email exchange between the mother and Karen Miles, a sex crimes detective, the company is specified.

The mother wrote to Miles: “Uber is operating illegally in STL so I can see their reluctance to reveal information. I do not know how many Uber drivers picked up people from the bar between those hours, but (victim’s name) can identify the driver so they should be able to provide you a list of ALL drivers.”

Miles replied: “Uber is facing technical obstacles obtaining the information requested ( … ) they are not reluctant, the investigation will be lengthy due to the obstacles.”

Miles declined to comment and referred calls to the police department’s legal division. A police spokeswoman said no interviews would be conducted while the investigation continues.

The mother’s reference to “illegal” stems from Uber’s operating since September 2015 in violation of Metropolitan Taxi Commission rules requiring drivers to be fingerprinted for background checks and to possess a chauffeur’s license. Uber and the commission have filed lawsuits in the matter.

When the issue came to a head, St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay backed Uber, saying city police had better things to do than issue tickets to Uber drivers.

Laclede Cab Co. president Adam McNutt said traditional cab companies are able to provide driver information in a more timely manner. McNutt’s father is Dave McNutt, Laclede’s owner and a taxi commissioner.

“If it was one of our cabs, and the meter was on (during the ride), it would take literally seconds to find out who the driver was,” McNutt said.

“If for some reason the driver had the meter off, it may take us 24 to 48 hours, tops. We’d find out through the GPS devices on our cabs,” he said.

The mother also was concerned with other parts of the investigation.

In an email exchange with Miles on July 29, the day before the “technical obstacles” discussion, the detective told the mother that police had not been able to schedule a time to view the Wheelhouse’s security tapes.

In that exchange, Miles said: “The general manager of (W)heelhouse is only available two days a week at a specific time, that time hasn’t not always worked with my schedule.”

In that exchange, Miles also said she had served Uber with a grand jury subpoena for records on July 8, and that she still had not received any information. The police department on Friday said the subpoena actually was served on July 12.

Later on July 29, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch filed a public-records request with the police department asking for reports and records connected to the incident.

Four days later, on Tuesday, Wheelhouse owner Stephen Savage said by email that his general manager had met with police, twice, to show them the tapes.

Savage wrote that he could not provide specific dates as to when those viewings took place.

Craig Sayer, a city police officer who said he schedules off-duty officers to work security at Wheelhouse, said on Tuesday that he was unaware of the incident. “Honestly, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said.

The mother said she also has been told police have now seen the security tapes.

“They keep telling me to be patient, but nothing seemed to happen for a month, and then they watch them twice in, what two or three days?” the mother said.

“Let it be their daughter and see how patient they are.”

——

©2016 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 

tohunt4me

Well-Known Member
Woman says Uber driver may have witnessed her being raped in back of his vehicle

By Joe Holleman St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 5, 2016
Updated August 5, 2016 8:20pm

ST. LOUIS » A woman believes an Uber driver may have witnessed her being raped by a man in the back of his vehicle last month — and also that the company and St. Louis police are dragging their heels in the investigation.

Police refuse to comment about the investigation, but told the woman and her mother that “technical obstacles” are preventing Uber from providing information.

According to a police report, the woman told investigators the incident occurred early July 3, after she had been drinking at the Wheelhouse, a popular nightclub in downtown St. Louis.

The woman said she recalled being in the back seat of a vehicle with two male suspects who had first approached her at the club. She told police she was assaulted at some point during the ride. She also told police she was dropped off at a friend’s house, with the suspects already having left the vehicle. She provided descriptions of the two men.

“I remember sitting in front of my friend’s house and just crying,” the woman said in a telephone interview, then expressed concerns about the investigation.

“The driver seems to be a big piece of the puzzle and it seems to be taking a long time” to locate him, she said.

In the interview, the woman also said she discovered her purse and phone were missing when she reached her destination. She added that the driver tried to help her to find the items, but with no success.

The woman’s mother also has contacted police regularly about the lack of progress in the case.

“I’m not asking the police to solve this crime in a month. I know it doesn’t work like that,” the mother said. “I’m just asking (Uber) to help identify one driver.”

As of Aug. 3, the mother said the company had yet to provide police with information as to whether any Uber driver had picked up a fare at that time, date and location.

“Clearly, the best witness is the driver,” the mother said. “And the crime scene is his car. How does it take that long to get that basic piece of information?”

Meanwhile, a discussion Friday on a private Facebook page for Uber drivers may shed more light on the incident. The discussion began after this article was first published on stltoday.com.

In an exchange about 2 p.m. Friday between Uber drivers, one person identifies himself as a driver who experienced a similar incident on July 3 — one the driver says did not result in a likely sexual assault, thanks to his efforts.

The driver tells the group that he got a call (“ping”) from a male customer through the Uber application, asking for a car at the Wheelhouse around closing time, 3 a.m., on July 3. The driver said there was only one male passenger and one intoxicated female passenger; and the two did not seem to know each other.

The driver said he had negative feelings about the male passenger, who wanted the driver to take him and the woman to a hotel.

The driver said he kept distracting the male passenger from these efforts and eventually dropped the male passenger off near Page Boulevard and Interstate 270.

He then took the woman to a location that roughly coincides with what the woman has told police.

Then, the driver said within hours he filed a passenger incident report with Uber management, describing what happened. The driver complained to the group that Uber quickly classified the incident as “resolved,” so he replied that he was dissatisfied with that response. On July 4, he received another response from Uber management, again stating they were sorry the driver had the negative experience.

Uber Missouri general manager Sagar Shah did not return several phone messages left this week. On Friday, an Uber spokeswoman in San Francisco said Shah now works for the company in Michigan.

The spokeswoman said she could not comment about what technical issues could be delaying the process, and provided only the following statement:

“We’ve been fully cooperating with the St. Louis Police Department as soon as we received a request regarding a driver who could be a potential witness. We’ve been working to help identify the driver based on information provided to us by police and will assist in their investigation in any way possible,” the statement said.

The mother said her daughter told her about the incident when she returned home later the morning of July 3. Both then went to a hospital in St. Louis County, where the woman was examined, her clothes were bagged as evidence and city police interviewed her, the mother said.

The woman and her mother asked not to be identified.

The police report, which lists the alleged incident as “rape,” does not describe the auto as an Uber vehicle, only a “ride-share vehicle.”

But in a July 30 email exchange between the mother and Karen Miles, a sex crimes detective, the company is specified.

The mother wrote to Miles: “Uber is operating illegally in STL so I can see their reluctance to reveal information. I do not know how many Uber drivers picked up people from the bar between those hours, but (victim’s name) can identify the driver so they should be able to provide you a list of ALL drivers.”

Miles replied: “Uber is facing technical obstacles obtaining the information requested ( … ) they are not reluctant, the investigation will be lengthy due to the obstacles.”

Miles declined to comment and referred calls to the police department’s legal division. A police spokeswoman said no interviews would be conducted while the investigation continues.

The mother’s reference to “illegal” stems from Uber’s operating since September 2015 in violation of Metropolitan Taxi Commission rules requiring drivers to be fingerprinted for background checks and to possess a chauffeur’s license. Uber and the commission have filed lawsuits in the matter.

When the issue came to a head, St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay backed Uber, saying city police had better things to do than issue tickets to Uber drivers.

Laclede Cab Co. president Adam McNutt said traditional cab companies are able to provide driver information in a more timely manner. McNutt’s father is Dave McNutt, Laclede’s owner and a taxi commissioner.

“If it was one of our cabs, and the meter was on (during the ride), it would take literally seconds to find out who the driver was,” McNutt said.

“If for some reason the driver had the meter off, it may take us 24 to 48 hours, tops. We’d find out through the GPS devices on our cabs,” he said.

The mother also was concerned with other parts of the investigation.

In an email exchange with Miles on July 29, the day before the “technical obstacles” discussion, the detective told the mother that police had not been able to schedule a time to view the Wheelhouse’s security tapes.

In that exchange, Miles said: “The general manager of (W)heelhouse is only available two days a week at a specific time, that time hasn’t not always worked with my schedule.”

In that exchange, Miles also said she had served Uber with a grand jury subpoena for records on July 8, and that she still had not received any information. The police department on Friday said the subpoena actually was served on July 12.

Later on July 29, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch filed a public-records request with the police department asking for reports and records connected to the incident.

Four days later, on Tuesday, Wheelhouse owner Stephen Savage said by email that his general manager had met with police, twice, to show them the tapes.

Savage wrote that he could not provide specific dates as to when those viewings took place.

Craig Sayer, a city police officer who said he schedules off-duty officers to work security at Wheelhouse, said on Tuesday that he was unaware of the incident. “Honestly, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said.

The mother said she also has been told police have now seen the security tapes.

“They keep telling me to be patient, but nothing seemed to happen for a month, and then they watch them twice in, what two or three days?” the mother said.

“Let it be their daughter and see how patient they are.”

——

©2016 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Uber,protecting the privacy of rapists,NOT DRIVERS.

The driver " may have noticed "?

Does he drive a bus ?
Hope he watches the road better than the interior of his vehicle.

Was this a " POOL" RIDE ?
 

UberReallySucks

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Uber,protecting the privacy of rapists,NOT DRIVERS.

The driver " may have noticed "?

Does he drive a bus ?
Hope he watches the road better than the interior of his vehicle.

Was this a " POOL" RIDE ?
Ridesharing just keeps getting more and more interesting every day!
 

BurgerTiime

Well-Known Member
It took Uber over a month to provide authorities the drivers information? WTF?! They really don't are about public safety.
 

LA Cabbie

Well-Known Member
This is absurd. Unbeknownst I did taxipool once and it was rape. I pulled the car safely into a gas station on Lankershim and Oxnard in North Hollywood. Exited the vehicle and called 911. The police were there in seconds and they caught the guy red handed in the act. Yet Uber does not want to aid law enforcement. I think in the very near future we will be seeing Uber execs heading to prison if Uber continues with its ways.
 
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