On the same day that Uber published a blog post about improving passenger safety, Boston police charged an Uber driver with rape, assault to rape, kidnapping as well as two counts of assault and battery of a female passenger on December 6, 2014. 46-year-old Alejandro Done, the Uber driver charged with these crimes, picked up the young woman and was supposedly driving her to an ATM to get cash. According to police, Done allegedly drove to an area devoid of witnesses and proceeded to beat as well as choke the women in the back seat of his car.
Done also allegedly locked the car doors so she couldn’t escape, then proceeded to sexually assault the young woman. According to authorities, he was also holding her mouth closed so she couldn’t scream for help. According to an Uber spokesperson, Done passed the company’s background check and was an authorized Uber driver. However, Done was not on call when picking up the young woman and attempted to break Uber’s protocol by requesting cash from the woman. All Uber drivers are required to accept credit cards as payment.
Releasing a statement about the brutal assault, Uber spokesperson Kaitlin Durkosh said “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.”
Encouraging safety among Uber users, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan offer tips that included “Confirm that the car you are getting into is the particular one you have ordered. Be cautious if the driver is asking you to do something that you understand to be against company policy, as when they request you pay by cash when you understand that the company receives payment by credit card. There are some simple steps that you can take to reduce your exposure to harm from people intent on using these worthwhile services to take advantage of victims.” Done is currently being held without bail for another hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 24.