Author Topic: Female Uber passenger says she was assaulted  (Read 31 times)


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Female Uber passenger says she was assaulted
« on: October 24, 2018, 11:31:39 AM »
A Philadelphia woman called for an Uber one fall afternoon in 2016. The trip quickly took an ugly turn.

The woman, Stephanie Torres-Fountain, 30, of the Glenwood section of North Philadelphia, was asked by the Uber driver to “uncross her legs,” out of “common courtesy” as she sat in the backseat, Torres-Fountain says.

When she refused, the driver, Emmanuel Ameh, allegedly pulled his car over around 15th and Market Streets in Center City, got out of the car, opened the passenger-side door, and “ripped her hooded sweatshirt over her head.” From there, Ameh allegedly pulled her out of the car, throwing her down on her knees, according to Torres-Fountain.

Ameh had prior arrests for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct and had convictions on traffic-related incidents, court records show.

Still, Uber hired him as a driver.

And now, in a federal lawsuit filed this week alleging negligence, assault and battery, Torres-Fountain is claiming that the attack on her was caused by the ride-hailing company’s lax driver-screening process.

Arrests that do not result in convictions, like Ameh’s public drunkenness and disorderly conduct charges that were withdrawn, will not disqualify a potential driver, according to Uber’s policies. And traffic-related convictions, as Ameh had on his record, are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Torres-Fountain said she filed complaints over the October 2016 incident with the Philadelphia Police Department, the police officials confirmed, and with Uber. The company would not comment on whether Ameh is still an active driver with the company.

While Uber says complaints from passengers about sexual assault or misconduct are exceedingly rare among its some 20,000 Uber drivers operating in the Philadelphia area, a CNN investigation found that more than 100 Uber drivers in recent years have been accused of assaulting or abusing passengers around the country.

Each day and week that passes without change is a guarantee by Uber of harm to untold numbers of women who use its app,” wrote New York-based lawyer Jeanne Christensen, who is the lead attorney on the California case.