Woman stops Uber driver sexually assaulting her after claiming she had HIV
It's a well documented phenomenon; women are increasingly at risk when attempting to get home at night, regardless of whether they walk or use public transport.
Whilst concerned friends and family always implore us to hail a taxi or use services such as Uber and Lyft when coming home late at night in various states of inebriation or exhaustion, reports continue to surface about instances where women have been sexually assaulted by their drivers.
According to Who's Driving You, a public awareness campaign which is dedicated to promoting for-hire vehicle safety, there have been 288 instances of alleged sexual assaults between the ride-share companies, Uber and Lyft. In addition, they report that there have been 69 incidents of alleged assault and 29 deaths since 2014.
Now, another woman has stepped forward to tell of the dangers of using such ride-sharing platforms. The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims that she was subject to a horrifying sexual assault at the hands of her Uber driver, Suleiman Abdirizak. The unnamed woman was, however, able to stave off Abdirizak thanks to some very quick thinking.
Prosecutor Sarah Morris told Snaresbrook Crown Court that the victim had been out for dinner in London when she started feeling unwell after drinking a bottle of wine. The woman then proceeded to order an Uber to get her home safely.
Abdirizak responded to the woman's request on November 10 2016, but allegedly stopped short of the end destination. Parking up in Buckle Street, Stepney, he is accused of stroking the woman's thigh as she slept.
Morris states that the Uber driver then "put his penis into her mouth" and said "I’ll only drive you if you suck my d***." Morris says that this is "where the rape took place", using the fact that "his telephone shows that for nine minutes they were in Buckle Street" as evidence.
However, the woman's survival instinct quickly kicked in, and she was able to stave off her attacker by claiming that she had HIV. Although this was a lie, Abdirizak reportedly believed it and proceeded to back off, distraught over the prospect of having encountered the viral infection.
Morris states that when the victim talked to police officers after the attack she said:
"I don’t know how I thought of this idea to lie to him, I said I have an illness and you don’t want to sleep with me. He thought it was an STD or something, I told him I have HIV and have had it for five years."
And it was apparently a stroke of genius, as Abdirizak became more preoccupied about his victim's alleged condition. She continued, "he got out a squash bottle from his car and started washing his mouth and penis because he thought he was contaminated."
The Uber driver was said to be so distressed that the woman fell compelled to reassure the "freaked out" man. She told him, "I’ll walk you through it, I have had it for five years, don’t worry about it".
Suleiman Abdirizak who hails from Rifle Street, Poplar in East London is facing a charge of rape. He maintains his innocence, claiming that it was the passenger's "idea that they should go somewhere more private to be sick."