A woman in France has recounted the moment when her sister-in-law realised she was being kidnapped by an Uber driver she ordered in a Paris suburb.
Nina Scaly published the account on social media in a post that went viral in France. Several other women later also came forward, she says, to say they had already complained about the Uber driver in question.
Ms Scaly’s sister-in-law Lucie, 24, told how she was a victim of the Uber driver last Wednesday after ordering a car at around 22:30 in a Paris suburb.
From the start, she said she noticed that the driver “was not going in the right direction, and was not following his GPS”, said Ms Scaly to BFMTV. “She knew the journey well, so she asked the question, ‘What’s happening, where are we going?’”
After five minutes, the driver allegedly stopped and cancelled the Uber journey, even though Lucie was still in the car.
He said: “It’s fine, don’t worry”, but Lucie said she wanted to get out. The driver began driving again and would not let her leave. It was at this point that the woman realised she was in more danger than she had thought and decided to jump out of the car while it was still moving. She then ran away.
Jump out of a moving car
Ms Scaly said: “He wasn’t going very fast, so she wasn’t hurt, luckily. But she did jump out of a moving car, and when you consider how timid she usually is, that goes some way to show the survival instinct that came over her.”
The same night, Lucie reported the incident to Uber but did not receive a reply. After a second report, she claims Uber said it would refund the money for the journey and ensure she would not be matched with that driver in the future.
“But that means that he would still be driving around and could potentially attack other women,” said Ms Scaly.
Ms Scaly posted the account on Instagram, along with a photo of the driver from his Uber profile. She warned people not to get into the car if he is selected as their driver on the app.
She said: “I’ve received thousands of messages, hundreds recounting their own experiences of aggression by ridesharing drivers, and around 10-12 women who even said they have been victims of aggression by this exact same driver.
“They were shocked that he was still driving around, even though they had also reported him.”
Bolstered by the number of women who had suffered the same thing, Lucie decided to file a police complaint. However, at first, the police did not accept the complaint saying there was no violence committed, said Ms Scaly.
"It was only when they saw that it had gone viral online that they accepted it - but what about women who don’t have this level of [social media] exposure?” she asked.
The public prosecutor’s office in Créteil told BFMTV that the complaint had been dismissed because the offence was “insufficiently substantiated”.
Uber and Heetch – the ridesharing apps for whom the driver worked – both confirmed that they have now banned the man from driving via their platforms.