Cops: Uber Driver Kidnapped Drunk Woman

Frederick Dencer also accused of 'fondling' her
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2014 7:17 AM CDT
Cops: Uber Driver Kidnapped Drunk Woman
In this April 3, 2014 photo, a smartphone is mounted on the glass of an Uber car in Mumbai, India.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Words Uber would likely rather not hear in the same sentence: its name, and "kidnapping." One of the ride-sharing service's California drivers was arrested Monday on suspicion of kidnapping an intoxicated woman he was supposed to be driving home, KTLA reports. The 26-year-old woman was bar-hopping in West Hollywood Sunday night, and police say that at her last stop, the Greystone Manor nightclub, a valet asked driver Frederick Dencer, 32, to drive her home. Police point out that it wasn't an "official Uber assignment" and the woman didn't use the Uber app. She was also apparently too drunk to give him her address; police say Dencer "took advantage of the situation" and allegedly drove her to a motel, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The woman woke up at 6am Monday next to a shirtless Dencer, who put his hand on her and wanted to have sex, police say. LA Weekly adds that the woman says he "fondled her over her clothes." But he let her leave, and she called police from a nearby 7-Eleven. She told them she did not remember how she had gotten to the motel. Surveillance footage showed she had been practically unable to walk and that Dencer carried her into the room. In its official response, Uber says it's "certainly unclear that this is an Uber-related incident," but that passenger safety is its top priority and Dencer has been suspended. He faces a charge of kidnapping for the purpose of sexual assault, and his bail was set at $1 million. (Earlier this year, an Uber driver was sued for hitting and killing a 6-year-old.)

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