Authorities in New York say an Uber driver was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a passenger during late-night ride earlier this year.
According to WNBC, 24-year-old Harbir Parmar appeared earlier this week at a federal court in White Plains to faces criminal charges related to the February 21 incident.
According to investigators, Parmar picked up the female victim after she used the ride-sharing app to arrange for a ride to her White Plains residence.
After she fell asleep in the backseat, however, the driver allegedly changed the destination in Uber’s system and began driving toward Massachusetts.
The woman allegedly woke up to find him in the seat next to her with his hand touching her breast underneath her shirt. His vehicle was parked on the side of the road, she told police.
“As alleged, Harbir Parmar was hired to transport a woman from Manhattan to her home in White Plains,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. “Instead, Parmar kidnapped, terrorized, and assaulted the woman before dumping her on the side of an interstate.”
After the passenger woke to the alleged assault, police say Parmar got back behind the wheel and started driving again. While the victim claims she asked him to take her back home or to a police station, she said he dropped her off on the side of a Branford, Connecticut, road.
From there, she walked to a nearby convenience store and reported the incident along with the suspect’s license plate number, which she memorized.
Uber acknowledged its driver’s arrest in a statement calling the claims “horrible” and insisting that it acted quickly upon learning of the situation.
“As soon as we became aware, we immediately removed this individual’s access to the platform,” the company wrote. “We have fully cooperated with law enforcement and will continue to support their investigation.”
In addition to counts related to the kidnapping, WPIX reports that Parmar is expected to be charged with fraud in connection with claims that he previously manipulated the destinations of his fares.
Investigators have reason to believe there could be additional victims of such criminal behavior by the suspect. Anyone with information can call local FBI agents at 914-925-3888.
[Featured image: Harbir Parmar, New York Police Department]