In December, a Yahoo! Group for DC’s Cleveland Park neighborhood, posted a message detailing a rape allegedly committed by an Uber cabdriver a few days prior. According to the listerv post, a 20-year-old woman who used Uber, an “on-demand” cab service accessed via a smartphone app, was attacked, knocked unconscious and raped by her driver after receiving a ride to her home in Cleveland Park.
We wrote about the case in January, noting the strong need for violence prevention and safer travel options for women.
Today, Prince of Petworth announced that an arrest has been made in the case. We at CASS send our hearts out to the survivor and wish her the best. We hope that Uber pays close attention to this tragedy to learn how others can be prevented.
Details below, along with a statement from Uber.
Reposted from Prince of Petworth, 3/15/13:
Back in mid-December there was a report on the Cleveland Park listserv of an Uber driver who had allegedly sexually assaulted a woman on the 3200 block of 36th Street NW. An arrest in that case has now been made.
The Metropolitan Police Department has announced that an arrest has been made in the First Degree Sexual Abuse that occurred in the 3200 block of 36th Street, NW.
On Saturday, December 8, 2012, at approximately 3:00 am, an adult female who had hired a cab service was sexually assaulted while in the 3200 block of 36th Street, NW.
After an investigation by members of the Sexual Assault Unit, a warrant was issued for 35 year-old Anouar Habib Trabelsi of Alexandria, VA, charging him with First Degree Sexual Abuse.
On March 13, 2013, Mr. Trabelsi was arrested by members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force.
Ed. Note: Representatives from Uber will be releasing a statement shortly at which point I will update here.
Statement from Rachel Holt, Washington, DC General Manager, Uber:
Immediately upon being told that a driver for Capitol Limo, a limo company utilizing Uber technology, was suspected of committing a crime, we deactivated the partner account. He has not done a single ride through Uber since then. We have worked closely with the police and prosecutors investigating this incident, and will continue to help them in any way possible. The safety of our users is absolutely paramount, and we will continue to be vigilant that riders’ safety and security are protected.