JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - A man is facing kidnapping charges after allegedly kissing a 15-year-old girl against her will after picking her up as an Uber driver.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is reporting the teen had asked coworkers to schedule an Uber ride home from her job. She worked at a business in Golden. Shortly after 10 p.m. on Saturday, her coworker used uberPOOL to schedule the ride. The sheriff's office is reporting the option allows riders to save money by sharing a ride with others going the same direction. Uber’s website explains that riders using uberPOOL are dropped off according to their destination along the route, not necessarily in the order each rider was picked up.
According to authorities, when the Uber driver Ahmed Muse arrived, the teen sat in the front because someone else was in the back seat. Even though the teen girl's stop was first along the destination route, Muse continued to drive and bypassed her home. He claimed the Uber app was not working properly on his phone.
The teen reportedly offered Muse an extra $10 to drop her off first so she would not have to travel to I-76 and Pecos, the other rider's destination. According to authorities, Muse refused the offer. He claimed he had to drop the passengers off in the order they were picked up.
After dropping the other passenger off Muse returned to the victim's neighborhood. When she tried to get out she wasn't able to because Muse had locked the doors, according to investigators. Then Muse reportedly kissed her against her will. He eventually unlocked the doors and the teen was able to escape.
Deputies were able to identify Muse through the Uber app and he was arrested on Sunday. He is facing charges of second-degree kidnapping, false imprisonment and harassment. The other passenger corroborated the victim's description of events.
The investigation is ongoing.
The sheriff's office recommends texting or sharing the name of the driver and license plate number of the vehicle with others when using a ride service. According to its website, Uber offers riders an option to share their trip status with up to five family members and friends to help ensure the rider arrives when expected.
Those family members or friends then receive a text with a link that includes trip details, driver’s first name and vehicle information. Uber also offers a “Critical Safety Response Line” on its app for riders in need of safety-related assistance. And riders are always encouraged to call 911 if they believe they are in danger.
In order to use the Uber rider app to request a ride, you have to be 18 years of age, according to Uber.