It took almost a week before the New York Police Department got the driver’s full name, despite the passenger calling the cops as soon as she was assaulted.
The 31-year-old woman who wished to remain anonymous described the incident to Gothamist on May 1. After the woman fell asleep in the black SUV, she awoke to the driver touching her face, and he crawled over the back seat to grab her shoulders and attempt to kiss her. The woman was able to fight him off and escape the vehicle. She was outside her apartment when she was assaulted, thus letting the driver know where she lives.
A spokesperson for Uber told the Daily Dot that as soon as the passenger reported the incident Uber canceled the driver named Muhammad’s account, rendering him unable to drive for Uber. But the company required a “request for information,” i.e. a subpoena, court order, or search warrant before turning over the full name of the driver to police.
The police didn’t provide Uber with a request for information until May 5, and Uber responded immediately.
“Uber is taking this matter very seriously,” an Uber spokesperson said. “As soon the incident was reported to us we removed the driver from the platform and we have provided the NYPD with all the information they requested.”
Uber provided the following timeline of events regarding the incident:
On Thursday morning April 30th, a rider wrote in about an incident involving an UberBLACK driver-partner
The driver-partner in question was licensed by the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission and had passed the TLC background check
Upon learning of the incident, Uber immediately suspended the driver from the Uber platform and contacted the rider.
We advised the rider to file a complaint with the TLC and she reported to us that she did. We also provided trip information to the TLC for the time period the incident took place which includes driver names and license plate numbers
We spoke with the NYPD on Friday May 1st and advised them on the process for requesting private information for drivers
Yesterday the NYPD submitted a request for information, including the driver’s information, and we quickly provided everything requested.
It’s Uber’s policy to maintain driver and passenger privacy by requiring any government organization, including police, to submit a subpoena before turning over personal data.
Police are still investigating the incident, and haven’t found the man accused of harassing his passenger, according to Jezebel.