Boone police investigate sexual assault involving Uber driver

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BOONE, N.C. - Boone police are investigating a case that they say involves an Uber driver who sexually assaulted someone he picked up.

According to investigators, on Oct. 6, an Uber driver reported seeing customers who had requested his services get into another car.

The customers got out immediately after they realized they were in the wrong car and claimed the driver was acting suspiciously, investigators said.

"Come down here really fast. They were really freaked out and they got in the car and said, ‘Oh my god, this guy was really sketchy. He looked like he was going to try to kidnap us or something,’" the Uber driver said.

 

 

On Wednesday, the same Uber driver said he saw the exact same car from the previous incident, a gray Toyota Camry with Florida tags, try to pick up fares in front of popular bars on West King Street.

Police told Channel 9 that they received a report on Sept. 24 from a 21-year-old woman in Boone who claimed she was assaulted after she was picked up by the driver of an Uber she had requested. Authorities said the woman was picked up at the Mountaineer Village off-campus apartments at Appalachian State University and was heading out with a group of friends.

The car in that case was also a gray Toyota Camry.

Authorities confirmed that the woman went to the hospital after the alleged sexual assault and reported the incident.

"It was an Uber fare that led to a report of an allegation of a sexual assault," Detective David Osborne said.

ASU students said they received an alert about the alleged assault, and several told Channel 9 that they already take precautions anytime they get a ride.

"I usually don't go into Ubers by myself unless I'm with other friends and I feel more comfortable,” student Ashley Tauscher said.

After the same vehicle was spotted a third time in downtown Boone, police asked for the public's help to identify the driver through their Crime Stoppers program.

Channel 9 was told that police also asked for the assistance of other Uber drivers.

Officials said the person in question contacted police on Thursday and is cooperating with their investigation, but no charges have been filed yet.

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