Orlando police warn residents after arresting Uber driver for assaulting woman
Police in Orlando, Florida warned residents to avoid ride-sharing companies like Uber after a 28-year-old driver was arrested for allegedly reaching under a female passenger’s shirt, WKMG-TV reported.
The suspect, Ramy Botros, was charged with first degree misdemeanor battery for allegedly fondling the woman “in an aggressive manner” on Sept. 19. The woman’s boyfriend reportedly contacted Uber to send a driver to take her to meet him.
But police said a recording she made of the incident shows Botros driving erratically, repeatedly calling her “attractive” and “pretty,” and telling her that, in his native country of Egypt, the way she was dressed at the time meant “she was asking for that.”
At one point, Botros allegedly stopped his vehicle and reached inside her tank top. The Washington Post reported that, according to an affadavit, the woman told Botros, “Do not touch my boobs or I will hit you in your face.”
The affadavit also stated that the woman “tried to play off his actions as harmless” in an effort not to upset him. When Botros finally arrived at the intended destination, she asked for his business card and used the information to notify police.
Botros was later arrested and charged before paying a bond for his release.
“We take reports like this seriously and are treating the matter with utmost urgency and care,” Uber said in a statement. “We have suspended the driver’s account while we investigate, as is our policy, and stand ready to assist authorities in any investigation.”
But a police spokesperson, Sgt. Lovetta Quinn-Henry, advised residents to steer clear of Uber and similar “unregulated” services.
“I would certainly encourage drivers to use regulated cab companies that are in compliance” with state statutes, she told WKMG.
A federal civil rights lawsuit filed earlier this month accused Uber drivers of discriminating against blind customers. Company drivers have also been accused of stalking and raping passengers, among other offenses.
Watch WKMG’s report, as aired on Thursday, below.