Ride hailing services have expanded rapidly across the country in recent years. However, concerns about the behavior of drivers have also come to the fore following sexual assault prosecutions.
Recently in Chicago, a Lyft driver was arrested on July 19 on charges of zip-tying and raping a 25-year-old woman at knifepoint in his vehicle.
A report on NBC noted Angelo McCoy, a 48-year-old driver from South Sawyer Avenue, was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping, and unlawful restraint. McCoy had a bond hearing. He was held in lieu of $90,000, according to reports.
In many alleged sexual assault cases, a victim was reported to be intoxicated.
The NBC report said the 25-year-old victim had consumed a large amount of alcohol on July 7. She was out with friends in the River North neighborhood. The report said she ordered a ride home from Lyft on North Clark Street and fell asleep in the vehicle.
The NBC report said when she woke up, the young woman realized the car she was in was heading away from her home. She asked the rider to get out. McCoy is accused of driving her into an alley and holding her captive for two hours, according to prosecutors.
They alleged McCoy was wielding a knife. He got in the backseat, grabbed the woman by the throat and tied her hands behind her back using zip ties. The victim said three people down the alley did not respond to her screams. Prosecutors said McCoy took the woman’s phone and driver’s license, and later demanded cash.
Prosecutors say McCoy drove away with the woman in the car but she was able to escape from the moving vehicle.
Scott Coriell, a spokesman for Lyft, said of the sexual assault allegations:
“These allegations are sickening and horrifying. As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we deactivated the driver’s account and did everything we could to assist law enforcement.”
The alleged crime is the latest in a list of incidents involving ride-hailing drivers in Chicago.
In 2016, Alexander Marrero, an Uber driver was charged with the sexual assault of a 23-year-old passenger.
When prosecutors set out their case against Marrero, claiming he undressed and raped an unconscious woman, he became the third Uber driver to face sexual assault charges in Chicago since late in 2014.
Also last year, Jason Dalton, a 45-year-old Uber driver was charged over a shooting spree that left six people dead in Michigan.
If you have been charged with a serious offense like sexual assault, it’s important to hire an experienced Cook County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call Abdallah Law at (312) 229-0008.