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Alleged Attempted Sexual Assault Leaves Some at SU Rethinking Uber

Uber customers and driver give their thoughts on company after an Uber driver allegedly attempted to sexually assault a student. (c) Calvin Dudley

By Calvin Dudley SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) Syracuse police are investigating into a report that an unnamed Uber driver allegedly attempted to sexually assault a Syracuse University student last month said police. The incident is leaving people with mixed feelings about the pickup service.

“The driver didn’t take her back to her dorm but took her to a parking lot on the outskirts of the campus,” said an anonymous parent on Facebook says Syracuse.com.

The claim became public after an anonymous post to the Syracuse University class of 2021 page noting the poster’s daughter had been sexually assaulted in the early hours of September 17.

The student called Uber to take her back from a party to the dorms where she lived. Instead of driving the student back, the driver allegedly started making inappropriate comments, and eventually started touching her. The student then left the car, ran to a dorm, and called Department of Public Safety according to the anonymous source.

Although the incident appears to be an isolated one, some students NCC talked with are now feeling anxious about using Uber.

“It definitely makes me a lot more cautious using Uber. I feel like when you first hop into an Uber you hope that their vetting process is strong. It makes you take a step back and think a little bit more on like not using Uber or maybe just going back to a regular taxi service,” student Christopher Seeberger said.

Uber has removed the driver’s access to its app and is cooperating with local police, but might not be given the benefit of the doubt by some people say drivers.

“I would say that it gives them a bad rap. It doesn’t obviously put a good face out for Uber. I don’t personally like it. It’s not a good thing,” said Jason Naughton, Uber driver.

While the incident does not reflect well on Uber, said Naughton, he doesn’t think it will have a large impact on Uber’s business.

Regardless of the long term impact on Uber, for some students the incident will make them think twice about using the company.

“It definitely makes me a little bit more hesitant,” student Emily Race said.