MPD Seeks Suspect in First Degree Sexual Assault at Grant Circle – “possibly an Uber driver”

via google maps

From MPD:

“The Metropolitan Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect in connection with a First Degree Sexual Assault that occurred in the area of the Unit block of Grant Circle, Northwest.

On Sunday, August 23, 2015, between the hours of 2:00 am and approximately 3:50 am, an adult female was forcibly sexually assaulted. The suspect is described as a black male, 25-35 years old, dark complexion and short haircut. He was observed wearing a white shirt. The suspect is possibly an Uber driver, was seen operating a white in color, sports car type vehicle with black leather seats.

Anyone who has information regarding this case should call police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, information may be submitted to the TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411.”

41 Comment

  • Couldn’t Uber easily check if there were a car logged into their system that meets that description present near that location at that time?

    • Probably but if he wasn’t on the job I don’t know if they track his whereabouts. The information above doesn’t say that the woman was a passenger, or that she was even in the car, or that the guy was definitely an Uber driver.

      • I feel like a more appropriate description would have been “was seen operating a white in color, sports car type vehicle with black leather seats that may have had an Uber placard in the window”, but I guess that’s not important.

        • You are correct, the way you feel about the description is not important. In addition, I don’t think you or I have enough information to determine what descriptions would be more appropriate.

  • Not to make light of this situation, but I’m really growing tired of the many shortcomings of Uber and Lift. Idiot drivers who can’t seem to find my very easy to find home, so they cancel the trip after they’ve already made you late. Drivers who rely solely on GPS so they really have no idea how to get around common everyday backups or long-term construction zones. You get what you pay for.

    • And you feel that a post reporting a rape that was possibly committed by one of their drivers is the right place to voice those complaints?

      • I guess you missed the part where I wrote “Not to make light of this situation.” I suppose we have readers of all different levels on here.

        • I saw it, I just didn’t think that it made your thought process any clearer or your post any less incongruous.

    • I’ll take the occasional GPS fumbling over cabbies who ask me for directions any day. I would rather a few wrong turns while I peruse Popville comfortably in the backseat than having to actively direct my driver the whole time.
      But, yeah, wrong place for this debate.

      • Uber used to be reliable but now I’m finding that regular cab drivers seem to know where they’re going much more than uber drivers. Just this past weekend I saw my uber driver drive right past my location (I saw him), then canceled the trip when he couldn’t find me, and still charged me the $5 cancelation fee. Uber had a good run with me but I think I’m done with them.

        • I had an uber driver who needed turn-by-turn directions, and when I took him up the parkway and through MtP, he was slack-jawed in amazement. He asked me if we were still in DC. Had no idea where we were, and had never been on RCP or Park Road.
          And yes, it’s relevant to the discussion, because it speaks to professionalism. Is there a way to have drivers who are well trained enough that they don’t need their customers to give them directors, and well-screened enough to not commit assault? I guess not for $9 per ride, there isn’t.

          • You realize there is hardly any requirements or training to become an UberX driver right? I don’t know why you expect amazing service. With UberX, you get what you get – it’s more convenient than calling a cab and a bit cheaper – but beyond that…you get what you pay for. Also, many cab drivers are becoming UberX drivers. So you have the same crappy drivers, just in their own car.

          • I’ve had similar experiences. The thing is.. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even let them handle directions. Either the Uber directions are terrible (through no fault of the driver), or I’m watching them miss every single turn prompted by their GPS. While an extra 5-10 minutes commute isn’t going to make or break me, it costs extra money for me to sit and watch them drive in circles. It’s very frustrating especially since I take Uber on average every other day. I’d say maybe one out of four is comfortable driving in the city. If I’m paying for a ride, I probably shouldn’t feel like a suburban 16yo with a brand new learner’s is behind the wheel. I’m trying to be patient with it and let the bad drivers get weeded out. I’ve used the service since it came to DC and never had issues like this until the past maybe six months.

        • Did you complain to Uber? I’ve found their customer service to be exceptional. They respond promptly, and at least claim to address the issues with the driver. In this case, they’d probably refund you the cancellation fee. I once had them refund me part of my fare because the driver took a really circuitous route.

          • Absolutely, there is even a page on their website about contacting them if you feel you were unfairly charged a cancellation fee. I’ve had only good experiences with their customer service.
            Regarding the crime that occurred, I hope they catch this guy so the victim can get some justice and he can be stopped from doing this to anyone else.

          • +1. I had a cancellation free refunded by Uber – you just need to email them.

          • Disagree re: their customer service. Once had a driver go through Bloomingdale and Shaw to get from Brookland to Columbia Heights – he wouldn’t listen when I told him he was going the wrong way – and I had to fight tooth and nail to get my $ back. At any rate, the fact that they use an app as an excuse not to pay their employees (and taxes) is reason enough not to use them. The lack of screening and crummy service is just the icing on the big brown steaming cake.

        • justinbc

          I think the real disconnect for many people is Uber “black car” vs UberX, which is basically anyone with an ID and the necessary driving apparatus. When the black cars were first introduced a lot of them were former long time cabbies or personal drivers and they really knew their stuff, by comparison. Now you’ve got everyone out there looking to cash in on those Uber radio ads without a clue where they’re going.

  • justinbc

    Who reported this crime? They gave a two hour window when it might have occurred, and don’t even know what form of transportation they were taking? Did they just get into a random car or something when drunk?

    • It’s possible that the victim or another witness saw the rapist leave the scene in a car that had an Uber placard in the window and reported that detail to the police. Nice to see that in the absence of details you chose to blame the victim.

      • I was just about to say the exact same thing. It looks like the officers collected all available information from the victim and witnesses and included everything. i.e a car at the scene looked like an Uber. And a witness or the victim maybe checked the time around 2am and only knew the attack happened sometime after that. Someone saw a man in a white shirt.

        The only thing that is definitely known is that the victim isn’t to blame.

        • justinbc

          Please point out where exactly in my post I said the victim is to blame for being sexually assaulted.

          • “They gave a two hour window when it might have occurred, and don’t even know what form of transportation they were taking? Did they just get into a random car or something when drunk?” But you knew that.

          • justinbc

            Speculating that someone might be too impaired to know how they got home doesn’t equate to saying they have no rights with regard to being abused by their driver. But you knew that.

        • reread your comment. “Who reported this crime? They gave a two hour window when it might have occurred, and don’t even know what form of transportation they were taking? Did they just get into a random car or something when drunk?” That is victim blaming or at least victim criticizing.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Yep. It implies she should know better than to go out drinking and go home by herself late at night. So she was asking for trouble.

    • Only took 25 minutes for someone to blame the victim! What an awesome society we live in.

      • You must be new here. We’ve been living in a society with this real piece of work for a few years now, unfortunately.

      • justinbc

        In case you missed the very first word of my post, it’s “who”.

        • “Did they just get into a random car or something when drunk?”

          That question implies that the victim should have “known better” or should never have been drinking.

          • jim_ed

            I’m failing to see how that question makes any implication that the victim “should have known better”, in any context whatsoever.

          • If you’re a first year law student maybe. If you’ve actually had a conversation with someone in the real world then you understand people can say or ask certain things without implicit blame being assigned.

          • justinbc

            Thanks Jim, because there isn’t any such implication. The question relates specifically to the lack of, or indecisiveness in, the level of detail in the description provided by the police. By no means whatsoever does it assert any blame onto the victim for drinking however much they want to, IF that was even a circumstance worth considering. But, you know, VICTIM BLAMING YEAHHHHHHHH!

          • That’s an uncharitable reading of Justin’s comment, I’d argue. I guess some people are just looking for things to offend them.

          • Oh, so when someone’s offended, it’s their own fault? No accountability for the person giving offense?? Talk about victim blaming!

          • Yeah! I love a good pile-on. But seriously Mike M., you’re wrong.

          • stop all the microaggressions! I can’t handle this! Yes, I just read the Atlantic article…sounds like some sheltered millenials looking for any excuse to cry foul

      • The rush to be the first one to yell “victim blaming!” is by far a more telling indictment on where our society is at these days.

    • police don’t put out every bit of information they have. That’s part of how they tell a reliable tip from an unreliable one.

  • My understanding is that you need to own a car with four doors to work for uber. Since most perceived “sports cars” only have two doors, my guess is that the suspect was not driving for uber at the time.

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