City Desk

Uber Driver Charged With Sexually Assaulting Passenger in D.C.

An Uber passenger says a driver for the sedan service sexually assaulted her early in the morning on Sunday, July 20, according to D.C. Superior Court documents. Reshad Ahmad Chakari, 32, of Alexandria was charged with second degree sexual abuse Friday.

According to an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant, the woman who filed the complaint was out with friends for her birthday at Lux Lounge on New York Avenue NW when she decided she wanted to go home early. A friend used Uber through his own account to call a car for her, and the driver was supposed to take her back to the District Hotel at 1440 Rhode Island Avenue NW, where she was staying.

In the affadavit, the woman says she passed out in the cab and that when she woke, the driver was rubbing her breasts. She then fell back asleep, according to court documents, and woke up again to the sound of car doors locking. The cab had stopped and the driver was feeling her breasts and pulling down her underwear down to her knees. She says she asked the driver to be let out of the vehicle, but he refused and at one point asked if he could go back to her hotel with her. In a follow-up interview with authorities, she said Chakari briefly penetrated her with his finger or another thin object.

The woman, according to the documents, was able to send two text messages to the friend who called the Uber. Her friend subsequently called her phone, which reportedly startled the driver, who then took her to a hotel adjacent to the District Hotel. The friend stated that he called the hotel and asked the front-desk attendee not to let anyone up to the room with the woman.

According to the documents, the friend's Uber receipt included the name of the driver and the make of his car.

Uber said in a statement that the driver's account has been suspended and that the company is ready to assist authorities in the investigation.

"Rider safety is Uber’s #1 priority," the statement read. "We take reports like this seriously and are treating the matter with the utmost urgency and care."

Sedan picture via Shutterstock

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  • G

    Of course Uber says Rider Safety is #1 priority. They are under heavy pressure to get related in multiple States and DC. It's time to relate these companies and the drivers.

  • Derek

    Well this was a taxi that is regulated; Uber cab uses regular DC taxi drivers. This could've happened to any girl in any cab; at least with Uber you immediately know the name of the driver and Uber has all of his information.

  • Celia

    If this was a DC taxicab, the DC Taxi Commission would have commented by now. They are quick to publish/comment on anything where a taxi driver does something wrong. The Chairman has made no statement and there's nothing on about it.

    I think the reporters are using 'cab' mistakenly. It was probably uber x or limo. Most of the uber taxi drivers won't accept calls on U St., G-town, AdMo or H Street at night. The people take a long time to come out and the cops run the cabs away. They don't bother the limos or uber x, but they hassle the cabs all the time. There are way too many flags for the cabs in those places at night. The taxi drivers can pick up and go. The cops usually don't bother them when they do that, unless some cop's wife told him 'NO' that day.

  • Pingback: How Uber Can Take Action Against Sexual Assault | Collective Action for Safe Spaces

  • Bob

    Why did she fall asleep again after waking up to him touching her boobs?

  • Pirata do Cabide

    She was black out drunk. It happens.

  • coltov mocktail

    but her memory of it is crystal clear?
    story doesn't add up.