A Lyft driver who picked up an intoxicated woman in the Bywater neighborhood, drove her to his West Bank apartment instead of her home and raped her, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Yousef Hamed, 30, of Harvey, was arrested Tuesday (Feb. 5) and booked with second-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping, said Capt. Jason Rivarde, spokesman for the department.
The assault occurred on Jan. 23. The victim, a 43-year-old woman, decided to use the ride-share service instead of driving home after having drinks with a co-worker at bar in the Bywater, according to authorities. The woman was intoxicated, according to Rivarde.
The co-worker ordered a ride through the Lyft app on a cell phone and received notification that “Yousef” would be the woman’s driver. He arrived in white, 2014 Chrysler Town & Country around 10 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.
The woman’s home was located about a mile away from the bar. But instead of driving to her residence, the driver, later identified as Hamed, took her to his Manhattan Boulevard apartment in Harvey, Rivarde said.
The woman had accidentally left her own cell phone behind when she got into the vehicle, according to authorities. She had no way to contact help.
Meanwhile, Hamed told the woman he had to stop at his apartment. He got her inside his residence and raped her. The woman was too impaired to give her consent, according to Rivarde.
Afterward, Hamed drove the woman home. She called New Orleans police the next day. NOPD used information from her cell phone to identify Hamed and requested his personal information from Lyft, authorities said.
The ride-share company provided the information on Jan. 30, and NOPD contacted the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office once they determined that the rape had occurred at Hamed’s Harvey residence, Rivarde said. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective Kristen Lyvers investigated the case and obtained a warrant for Hamed’s arrest.
He was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna. Hamed was still being held there Thursday in lieu of a $400,000 bond.
**Clarification: We have updated the story to reflect that the a co-worker, not the victim, ordered the Lyft ride for the victim. The victim also accidentally left behind her cell phone when she got into the vehicle.