CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Shaker Heights man impersonating an Uber driver is accused of raping a woman in his car.
The young woman was leaving a downtown bar on West 6th Street and called an Uber because she had been drinking. When a car pulled up, it looked like the car on her app. When she asked the driver if he was her Uber ride, he said yes and told her to get in the front seat. If you’re traveling alone, Uber encourages you to sit in the back seat so, it’s easier to get out of the car in case of an emergency.
“It’s definitely startling to hear that,” said Bridgette Cunningham. “We live right across the street, so you know this is our neighborhood just kind of an awareness factor too. I easily could’ve been in her shoes. It makes you think for a second.”
According to the police report obtained by 19 News, the victim fell asleep, that’s when the driver headed towards his home in Shaker Heights.
Before he got there, an Ohio State Trooper pulled him over for driving with his lights off. The report states when he got out of the car, his pants were unzipped.
Police say he first claimed to be the woman’s Uber driver, but when asked for his credentials, he admitted he was lying. Police charged 35-year-old Monty Nath with rape.
"I mean I wish her friends would’ve made sure she got in the right car,” said Cleveland resident Wendy Ayramcyzk.
This, unfortunately, is not the first-time people posing as Uber drivers have committed crimes like this one. In order to protect yourself, Uber has several safety features set up. One thing you can do to verify your ride is to set up a pin on your app. This will help to make sure you get into the right car by sharing a pin number with your driver.
"Taking the extra steps because those couple of extra seconds to process the situation can make a big difference in the long run,” said Cunningham.
Uber also has an option to enable ride check notifications reminding you to check the license plate of the car as well as your driver’s photo. Lastly, you can share your trip status with family and friends.
To set up some of those features on your Uber app, simply head to settings and, then safety and you’ll find them there.