SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A former Syracuse Uber and taxi driver has been arrested following two lewd incidents involving young women.
Ibrahim M. Aden, 34, has been charged with second degree unlawful imprisonment, second degree harassment and first degree sexual abuse. The charges stem from two incidents reported to police -- one while he was driving for Uber, and another while driving a Yellow Taxi Company cab.
"Obviously, most Uber and Lyft and taxi drivers are on the up and up -- there's nothing wrong, they're doing the right thing -- but occasionally we do have these things, and this is the first we've had around here,” said Syracuse Police Department Sgt. Richard Helterline.
Syracuse Police say the first incident happened in September when an 18-year-old student requested an Uber to give her a ride to Ostrom Avenue. The victim told police the suspect touched her thigh, drove into a "secluded" parking lot and made "lewd comments."
"She was able to get out of the car, and she ran back to her apartment and called the police,” said Helterline.
In the second incident in October, a 22-year-old woman told police she was walking on West Fayette Street when a cab driver offered her a free ride. According to police, the woman said he pushed her hand into his lap area while his pants were unzipped.
“She told him to stop, he did finally stop, and she also ran home and reported the incident to the police,” said Helterline.
Eventually, police were able to make an arrest.
"In this circumstance, the second victim, she was out at a later date; at this point, we still did not know for sure who the driver was because both of these incidents weren't recorded on their apps or the taxi meter, so the second victim actually saw the suspect again while she was out, and took a picture of the license plate, which led us to go directly to the person we believe is the suspect,” said Helterline.
Aden has been suspended from Uber. A representative from Yellow Taxi Company, where Aden was leasing the car, said it was towed back to headquarters Friday.