In a tale that seems custom-made for SFist commenter yermom72, an Uber representative is sidestepping allegations that a driver with their service is behind a wild ride across San Francisco that ended in assault and robbery.
According to the victim, a 30-year-old SF man, he summoned an Uber at about 1 a.m. Saturday after a night out in the Marina. Shortly thereafter, a black Lincoln Town Car pulled up to the man's location, a bar on Chestnut Street. Our victim hopped in, and his ordeal began.
In the first sign that something was amiss, the driver "allegedly offered to take the passenger to a place where he could solicit drugs and prostitutes," instead of his destination of The Embarcadero and Brannan Street, KRON4 reports. The passenger declined, and the ride continued.
About a block away from the passenger’s destination, at Delancey and Brannan, the driver stopped the car and picked up a woman described only as "in a dress" and "between 25 and 30 years old." This surprised the passenger, as he wasn't riding using UberPool (Uber's carpooling service) and had not expected to share his ride, KRON reports.
The driver then continued past the victim's destination, but refused to let the passenger out, the passenger told police. The victim then leapt from the car near Pier 30 and tried to escape, but was chased down by the driver.
The driver robbed the passenger of his debit card and cell phone and punched and kicked him, dislocating his victim's kneecap in the process. The driver took off after the assault, and hasn't been seen since.
The big question, apparently, was if the driver was indeed an Uber driver. According to SFPD spokesperson Officer Albie Esparza, the passenger believes that the driver was with the service. The Chron reports that police and Uber officials are "working to confirm if the man did in fact work for the company — or if he was, as Esparza described it, 'pirating rides.'"
According to Uber spokesperson Kate Downen, who spoke with Reuters, "This man called an Uber, it's not fair to say he got into one."
However, when asked if the victim's "Uber request had been validated by any Uber driver, Downed declined to comment, citing the police investigation."
Frustratingly, we don't have too many details on the driver (whoever he works for) or his mysterious female passenger, except that he was 25-30 years old.Police say that they're investigating the charges made on the victim's debit card following the theft, in hopes that that might give them a lead on the suspect.