Anyone remember taxi cabs? You know, those yellow cars zipping around large cities and ridiculous speed, weaving in and out of traffic. Usually smelled vaguely of vomit?
Yea, the good old days.
Taxis are scarce and hard to get in many parts of the country, having been replaced by rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. This is a good thing in many regards, as the rideshare drivers are vetted, the cars have safety and cleanliness standards, and the cost is often lower than a taxi.
However, if you don’t know what you are doing, or have had a few too many beverages to care, bad things can happen.
Recently, one Florida Keys woman that was unsure how Uber works found out the hard way. Let’s check the Miami Herald for the details:
A Florida Keys man early Thursday morning lied to a woman about being an Uber driver — and while she was in his SUV, exposed himself and touched her against her will, the sheriff’s office said.
Enmanuel Noslen Teixeira was charged with sexual assault, kidnapping, battery and indecent exposure. An Uber spokeswoman said the 32-year-old Stock Island man is not one of their drivers.
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This comes at the heels of another case in Texas, that one involving a de jure Uber driver. @rideshare @FloridaKeys
Fake Rideshare Driver Facing Kidnapping, Sex Assault Charges in Florida Keys: Sheriff https://t.co/lJha2V5hnk
— I'm Not Your Boring Newspaper (@inybn2020) August 18, 2022
So much gone wrong here. If you are unfamiliar, you have to order an Uber ride on an app that lists the drivers name, and type of vehicle he drives. There is an electronic trail if anything bad happens. That’s part of the appeal to rideshare; ostensibly it’s safer.
However, it’s only safer if you use the service correctly.
She told Keys deputies she was drinking at Rick’s Bar on Duval Street before 1 a.m. Thursday. She decided to take an Uber home but wasn’t sure how to order the ride.
“She had been drinking at Rick’s and said that was a rare occurrence for her,” said Adam Linhardt, a sheriff’s office spokesman. “She used Uber but didn’t know how, and was having trouble using it when the suspect pulled up and said, ‘Do you need an Uber?’
At that point every red flag and alarm bell this woman has should have gone off. Someone pulling up and ASKING you if you need an Uber is basically the equivalent of someone saying, “hey, Ill kidnap you if you get in!”
A real Uber driver will have his phone with your name and location on it, often looking around in a panic trying to find you while traffic whizzes by around him. Especially late at night.
Not only was Teixeira not a real Uber driver, deputies said, but he used the pickup to assault the woman.
At one point, he pulled over on Boca Chica Key. That’s when he exposed himself, Linhardt said.
Teixeria kept driving and eventually took her to her home.
This story is insane. The fake Uber driver sexually assaulted this woman, but still took her home? This could have gone much worse for the rider and resulted in more than what already happened.
The good news is that, even while maintaining his innocence, fake Uber guy is chilling with no bond in the local lock up.
This is a teachable moment kids. Learn how stuff works before you use it. This entire scenario should have never happened. Thankfully tragedy or loss of life was averted.