Uber Driver Accused Of Rape Used Phony Permit To Drive

uberlogodogsUber is once again under fire for its system of vetting drivers after the city of Dallas claims that an Uber driver accused of raping a passenger was operating on a bogus permit and should never have made it through the company’s screening process.

On July 25, an Uber car picked up a woman and drove her to her home in the West Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas. He allegedly followed her inside and raped her.

Now the city is pointing the finger squarely at Uber for hiring this driver without noticing what appear to be multiple red flags.

In Dallas, ride-booking drivers must pass a city background check before getting a permit to operate, but officials in the Texas town say that this driver not only never applied for one of these permits, but that he would not have been given one because of a previous felony conviction for assault with force likely to cause injury.

He was also in prison as recently as 2012, when he was released after serving time on a federal weapons charge. Dallas regulations prevent convicted felons from obtaining a permit within five years of release.

Instead, reports the Dallas Morning News, the driver obtained a permit with a number belonging to a different driver. That permit expired in 2010.

Uber tells the News that the company is “still investigating this terrible situation,” and that it is
“conducting a thorough internal review and working with local officials to gather and sort through all the facts.”

The city gives Uber and other ride-sharing services access to a database to assist in doing their background checks.

“Clearly, Uber never checked this database and was conned by a faked document,” a spokesman for the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association, which has been vehemently opposed to services like Uber, tells the News. “The result is another Uber passenger suffering a sexual assault. This is why law enforcement — not Uber itself — should be background checking Uber drivers.”

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.