Woman says Uber driver forced her hand down his pants

Posted at 3:18 PM, Feb 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-05 18:39:15-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The busy intersection of West Cary Street and South Harrison Street in the middle of VCU campus is a common spot for students and staff to catch rides using their Uber app.

But, early Sunday morning VCU Police said a woman got into an Uber near the intersection and during the ride, the driver grabbed her hand and forced it down the front of his pants and then grabbed her breasts over her clothing.

VCU Police are now investigating, and have asked people to take extra precautions when they use a ride-sharing app like Uber.

"Try to ride with someone," VCU Police Detective Sgt. Chelsea McCarty said. "We recommend pairs, going in pairs always."

Student Jane Fischer said it was a strategy she already practiced.

"I try not to do it alone," she said. "I try to make sure I have one other girl with me."

Sgt. McCarty said she recognized that was not always possible, so she advised riders to always verify the identity of the driver and the car before getting inside.

"Let them give you the location of where you've requested, so you know it's the appropriate driver and then compare that photograph with the driver you see in front of you," McCarty said.

She also recommended downloading the Live Safe app. It's free and allows you to let friends or family track your route in live time.

It will also allow you to either call 911, campus police, or message a campus dispatcher.

Uber actually has a built in safety measure within their app.

When you request a ride and the driver accepts you can swipe up on the app screen and type send status.

That will share your trip details with friends or family, they will receive a text message that displays your driver's first name the vehicle information as well as real time information as to where you are on a map.

"I feel like that's good to know. I feel like that's helpful and we should always do that," Fischer said.

VCU Police said they have received a lot of tips on the case so far, but if you have any additional information they ask that you contact their none-emergency number of contact them through the Life Save app.

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