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An Uber driver has been charged with kidnapping after allegedly taking a sleeping passenger across state lines, groping her, and abandoning her on the side of the road.
According to the federal complaint filed against Harbir Parmar, the passenger got in his car around 11:30pm in February to take her from Manhattan, New York, to White Plains, New York. During the ride, she fell asleep. According to the complaint, Uber records show that the destination was changed to Boston, Massachusetts, while she was likely asleep, at 11:47pm.
When the passenger awoke, she said Parmar was in the back seat with her and had his hand under her shirt groping her. She tried to get her phone to call for help, but Parmar allegedly took it and denied having it when she asked him to give it back. The passenger also said Parmar refused to drive her back to White Plains, or to a police station. He eventually stopped on the side of a road in Connecticut.
The danger of being dropped on the side of a road in the middle of the night during one of the coldest months is obvious. Luckily, the woman managed to find a convenience store, and with the help of an employee, got a cab home. It wasn’t until later that she discovered that he had changed her destination to Boston and charged her for the full ride, a whopping $1,047.55.
The investigation also found that he falsely claimed the same woman he kidnapped vomited in his car and tried to get Uber to charge her for damages. While no one else has come forward to say Parmar sexually assaulted them, several others have been victims of his fraud. The detective for the case found at least 11 cases of Parmar falsifying information to Uber to overcharge customers for rides, or make them pay for damage that didn’t occur.
Kidnapping someone and taking them across state lines is a federal offense; if Parmar is convicted, he may be sentenced to life in prison.
H/T Buzzfeed News
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently working out of St. Paul, Minnesota. They have bylines at The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, and Bullet Points. Follow them on Twitter @thedialogtree