Uber drivers sometimes have to deal with difficult people. They may have had too much to drink, or be in a bad mood. However, one metro Uber driver says on Friday she was tased by a passenger. Another said one woman threatened to assault her.
“I just kept repeating that. Get out of the car. Get out of the car,” Dawn said.
Dawn said she didn’t know what to do in that moment. She’d picked up three women at Martini Corner in Kansas City on Friday night.
“I didn’t feel scared. I just felt off. Everything was off,” Dawn said.
The women immediately told her the tire pressure on her car was low, but her car has sensors to monitor it and they weren’t indicating an issue with the pressure.
“They were probably hoping I would get out to check, but I have sensors and they weren’t going off, so I didn’t get out,” Dawn said.
She said the women kept adding destinations to nowhere. Finally they took her to a dead end and she told them they needed to get out of the car.
“She started yelling at me ‘why do you have a bad feeling about picking up three girls changing their destination?’ I tried to tell her I had a dinner date and I was going to be late, so I was just letting somebody know, but that upset her so she told me she was going to punch me in the head,” Dawn said.
Not long after that, Lynn believes she picked up the same three girls. When she took them to their destination, Lynn says one of the girls opened her door and tased her.
“I said, ‘what?’ And she hit me with the taser. I just happened to have a hammer between the seat and the car door. I reached out with my left hand that she was tasing me with put it in my right and I swung it at her, shut my door. Hit the gas but my car wouldn’t go anywhere. They’d put it in park. So, I pulled it in drive and took off down the street with her still half way in the car,” Lynn said.
She was able to get away and go to a nearby hospital. Once she calmed down, she called police and Uber.
“I should have had 24-hour support and I didn’t get any support. I couldn’t get ahold of anybody until Monday,” Lynn said.
Uber said they are looking to verify Lynn did reach out after she was tased. Lynn says she heard back from someone on Monday who confirmed the rider’s account was suspended.
“Uber’s Incident Response Team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to incidents globally,” they said in a statement.
The Kansas City Police Department said a third female Uber driver experienced a similar situation that night. Sgt. Jake Becchina with KCPD says if you find yourself in a situation like these women, the best thing you can do is get away safely — even if that means giving up your car.
“No vehicle is worth your health, your safety or your life,” Becchina said.
Both women hope they are caught and they can learn a lesson to change their behavior.
“I would pray for them. I would hope they turn it around and become better citizens of our community and represent it a little better,” Lynn said.
KCPD said if you believe you were targeted as well they want to hear from you.
“We would love to have the people that are responsible for it identified or come forward and, and have them in custody,” Becchina said.
“That’s the only way they’re going to learn anything,” Dawn said.
Uber said they are looking into all of the incidents and are ready to work with KCPD when they hear from them. They say carjackings have increased nationwide, and rideshare drivers are being affected by this trend.
They say over the past few months with this issue increasing they have been working with law enforcement across the country to help find and arrest suspects by using technology to aid investigations. Uber says they use a team of former law enforcement professionals to respond to cases.