New York City is still grieving over Tuesday’s Lower Manhattan terror attack that killed eight people and injured 12 more, but the incident is also reverberating at Uber headquarters here in downtown San Francisco. Turns out that the suspect, 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, had been an Uber driver, according to the Associated Press. Saipov had passed Uber’s background check system, but now stands accused of being the assailant who drove a truck into a bike path in New York City’s deadliest terror attack since September 11, 2001.
“We are horrified by this senseless act of violence,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “Our hearts are with the victims and their families. We have reached out to law enforcement to provide our full assistance.”
Saipov had apparently been an Uber driver for six months, logging more than 1,400 trips in that time, the AP reports. As you’d imagine, Uber banned him from the platform in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.
The report adds some additional details on Saipov, a native of Uzbekistan, who moved to the U.S. legally in 2010 and first resided near Cincinnati, Ohio. He’s currently holding a Florida driver’s license and public records show his legal home is in a Tampa, Florida apartment complex. But Saipov currently resided in Paterson, New Jersey, and was driving a rented Home Depot truck with which he executed the attacks. He had two small trucking businesses registered in Ohio, one in Cincinnati called Sayf Motors Inc. and another in Cleveland called Bright Auto LLC.
The incident is certain to raise more questions about Uber’s famously lax driver background checks, and we here at SFIst have personally experienced murder threats from an Uber driver. But Saipov had no previous criminal record according to NBC News, although the AP adds there was a warrant issued for his arrest in 2016 when he missed a traffic court appointment for not having the proper brakes on a vehicle. He pled guilty and paid a $200 fine.
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