“victim reported that an Uber Cab driver sexually assaulted her” in Logan Circle, Arrest Made

From MPD:

“Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit have announced an arrest has been made in the sexual assault which occurred in the 1400 block of Rhode Island Avenue, Northwest.

On Sunday, July 20, 2014, at approximately 2:35 am, detectives from the Sexual Assault Unit responded to the report of a sexual assault in the 1400 block of Rhode Island Avenue, Northwest. The victim reported that an Uber Cab driver sexually assaulted her.

On Saturday, July 26, 2014, at approximately 6:00 am, 31 year-old Reshad Chakari of Alexandria, Virginia was arrested pursuant to a DC Superior Court arrest warrant charging him with Second Degree Sexual Abuse.”

33 Comment

  • In general I try never to take a taxi at night. It’s just too risky getting into the car with a stranger. I stopped taking Uber months ago. This is ridiculous. These assaults are going to be the downfall of this company. I had a bad experience some years ago in my late teens where a taxi driver took me off route. He actually pulled into a semi-vacant lot with some half-baked excuse. Thank God nothing happened. I don’t know if he lost his nerve at the last minute or if he realized I was too feisty and strong-willed to take the risk with, but nothing happened. A few years ago another taxi driver refused to take me where I wanted to go and insisted on taking me the route HE wanted to take me. In that case I think he was just trying to take me on a longer ride to get more fare out of me, but he was extremely argumentative and demanding, even complaining that I was making a bad decision by rejecting his “advice”. At this point taking a taxi is — for me — only in a case of extreme emergency.

    • Well the saving grace with Uber is having a detailed history with you driver including name, time stamps, and route. Try that with a regular cab.

      Agree on the other points though – I’ve had a fair share of DC taxis try and take me on the long route. I can’t wait for the day of self driving taxis……

    • Wait, if you don’t take a taxi at night, how do you get home if the Metro is closed and you’re a long way from home? You just…don’t do that? Genuine question.

      • I’m not the OP, but yeah, I myself plan accordingly so I can avoid nighttime cabs whenever possible. Alternatives include catching rides with friends or at the least, cabbing with friends/neighbors. As a young woman, my personal threshold for risk is low. I don’t like depending on strange men to get me home, and a lot of DC drivers are sketchy.

      • Exactly what Anonymous said. I simply don’t get into those situations if at all humanly possible.

        But I did say in my comment that I would do it in an emergency. THAT said, I did once arrive in Chinatown on a late bus at 2 am from NYC and I called a friend who I know stays up late — rather than take a taxi. That was a true emergency and yes, if I had no one to call I would have taken a taxi.

    • This is the exact opposite for me. With so many muggings around DC I tried to avoid walking after dark (and therefore public transportation) if at all possible. As a result – this means that I almost always rely on uber and cabs at night. I remember one other case of an uber driver (the one in Cleveland park) but I believe that case was dismissed. Have their been many other cases that I’m not aware of?

  • As awful as this is – and I wish the victim a peaceful recovery – having taken Uber makes it far easier to arrest a suspect because there are records to indicate the who what and when. Very important. I never know whose cab I am in but with Uber, it’s right there.
    Doesn’t make it any better but I think without Uber’s records it would have been harder to arrest someone.

    • A commercial taxi cab company has the same info. The real problem will always be someone who is willing to come forward. The effort to make Uber cool kindof neglects that it’s really nothing special.

      • Curious how a commercial cab company has the same info if you hail a cab on the street. I’ve always felt that Uber had that extra level of safety so that if something did happen the car/driver could be identified very quickly.

      • I think the fact that you have an electronic record (including photograph) of who picked you up and when definitely makes it something special compared to regular cab companies. Knowing that information exists somewhere is fairly worthless compared to actually having it.

        • Assuming that person actually submitted accurate info to uber. They could easily lie. Plus Uber doesn’t require a whole lot of information to become a driver, unlike taxi drivers who have to pass all sorts of tests and background checks, so the likelihood that someone sketchy is driving you is actually higher with uber.

          • Do you know this for a fact? It was my understanding that Uber requires background checks.

          • Given the flagrant breaking of traffic laws, denial of service, and generally unsafe behavior we have all seen exhibited by DC taxi drivers, I am hard-pressed to believe that any of the “tests” or “background checks” undergone by DC taxi drivers are very meaningful…

          • Uber does conduct background checks.

          • try getting a driver to show you his face card! I was kicked out of a cab once for asking to see it (I know it now flashes briefly on the screen, but I’m already in the cab at that point and I don’t have a copy of it in my email). I doubt some cab drivers are actually who they say they are. At least with uber, I have his picture and license plate that I can check before getting into the cab.

          • Uber does a basic online background check. Taxi drivers are required to have an FBI background check including being finger-printed. The level of background check is absolutely not of the same level.

          • If the driver didn’t submit accurate information to the company, how are they going to get paid? All payments to Uber, and from Uber to its drivers, are electronic, requiring a verified bank account.

          • exactly. you have to submit your real identity to uber to get paid. not to mention, your picture and license plate number are both shown to the rider when you book the trip, and you can easily verify them when the driver is arriving (which I have done, every time, over dozens of uber trips, and always found them to be accurate).

    • I find that small consolation, and considerably *after the fact*.

  • If it was an Uber “Cab” driver, it’s just a regular DC cab driver dispatched by Uber as apposed to an Uber X or a black car driver. Is this the case?

    • good point

      • not really, as it’s under Uber services and not DC Cab Authority.

        That is not a good point an all.

        • I think that you are missing the point of the question. Anonymous 11:33 was wondering which type of Uber service was contracted. Not that it makes Uber more or less culpable, but there is a difference between a black cab and an Uber X.

          • Anon 9:31 – actually incorrect. The taxi drivers that use the Uber call service still have a DC taxi commission medallion and must comply with all the taxi cab regulations including a more stringent background check.

          • Uber isn’t “culpable” at all. The driver is an independent contractor.

  • They definitely don’t have the same info about a street hail. With Uber, when you set up a ride, there is a person on the other end who has both registered their identity with Uber and is responding to your pick up request on a mobile phone registered in their name. And, Uber tracks the license plate of the vehicle and GPS showing where it was at all times (if the vehicle that pulls up to be your ride doens’t have the license plate shown on Uber, don’t get in). These are incredibly powerful tools to investigate and identify any crime that occurs in an Uber. I’ve taken Uber perhaps 100 times and have never had the license plate or drive picture fail to match, so it’s pretty damn reliable. The fact that this alleged assailant was quickly arrested says it all.

    • Accountering

      Exactly… If this had been a cab, they would have had significantly less information, if any. His odds of arrest would have been much lower. Glad to see they got the guy.

      • I’ve had cabbies tell me that they recommend that whenever a friend/family member takes a cab, to always ask for a receipt, ’cause that’s the only way you’ll be able to track down the cab if you forget something. Uber is obviously much easier.

        • good luck actually getting a receipt.. “oh, the paper is out”… and then they get upset when I explain that that is illegal.

          Plus, if being assaulted, I doubt you’ll stick around and say, “oh, can I get a meter printed receipt?”

          I’ve resorted to taking a picture of the license plate.

  • I want to hear the details about this. Seems pretty bold to happen at this location.

  • That’s great that the police were so responsive!
    And I agree to some extent with Katie. Uber makes taking a cab alone less risky, but there’s still a big risk. I try not to take Ubers alone, although sometimes it happens.

  • Taking cabs OR an Uber is always a risk – you never know whom you will end up with. I have had countless issues getting a cab to arrive on time when I call ahead, and don’t even get me started on trying to get picked up anywhere once the bars close.

    I was involved in a hit-and-run in which an Uber driver made right turn when I was approaching an intersection. Luckily the Uber’s passenger’s stop was right where the accident happened and she and I exchanged information. We were able to track him down a few days later – after months of negotiating he eventually assumed blame and covered the expense of what the insurance company would not cover. I almost pressed criminal charges but MPD took FOREVER to get this case going (a whole other topic).

    So Uber can come in handy when it comes to tracking down drivers but when I contacted Uber about the incident they separated themselves from the driver’s actions….

  • God, that’s horrible and I am so sorry. Zero stars for sure.

Comments are closed.