Yesterday, Uber made a promise to make the service safer, by focusing more attention of background checks for drivers and employing new technology to make sure customers get the safest ride possible.
Police say 46-year-old Alejandro Done has been arraigned in Boston on assault and battery and rape charges after he allegedly picked up a woman, took her to a secluded area, and beat her before sexually assaulting her.
From CBS Boston:
Authorities say on December 6, the victim was waiting for a ride-sharing driver at a residence on Tremont Street in Boston. When the victim got into the car, the driver told her that he would need a cash payment for the ride, so he brought her to an ATM. The driver then allegedly drove to a location the passenger was not familiar with, pulled over in a secluded area and jumped in the backseat where she was sitting.
“He allegedly struck her with his hands, strangled her, locked the car doors so that she could not escape and covered her mouth so she could not scream,” according to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office. “During an ensuing physical struggle, the defendant allegedly sexually assaulted the woman.”
Uber has issued a statement via a spokeswoman, saying “This is a despicable crime and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim during her recovery. Uber has been working closely with law enforcement and will continue to do everything we can to assist their investigation.” And according to Uber, Done was not the driver scheduled to pick up the victim – he picked her up while she was waiting for her real driver. It is possible that Done was able to find the victim based on his prior Uber activities.
“We believe deeply that, alongside our driver partners, we have built the safest transportation option in 260 cities around the world,” said Philip Cardenas, Head of Global Safety, in a blog post from less than 24 hours ago. “But we have more work to do, and we will do it. Uber is committed to developing new technology tools that improve safety, strengthen and increase the number of cities and countries where background checks are conducted and improve communication with local officials and law enforcement.”
According to Uber, Done had passed a background check.
Image via Uber, Facebook