Maryland Uber driver, Westagne Pierre, has been arrested for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a women passenger

Maryland Uber Driver, Assault, Videotape, Upcoming Fingerprint Hearing

A Maryland Uber driver, Westagne Pierre, has been arrested for kidnapping and assaulting a woman passenger.

The passenger began the night at a Washington, DC bar. According to news sources, she had too much to drink. A friend called an Uber to take her home to Virginia. At some point, the woman went into an alcohol-induced blackout. She woke up at a motel in Maryland.

When she woke up, she’d reportedly been assaulted by the Uber driver.

What makes this story more haunting is the Uber driver’s actions are said to have been captured on surveillance videotape at the motel. Detectives said the driver can be seen carrying the passenger’s limp body from the car to the motel. Her feet weren’t touching the ground, they noted.

Although this case is wrenching, similar events—an Uber driver taking awful advantage of an inebriated woman passenger—have been reported again and again.

This incident is like a template for pain.

It also illustrates what ‘Who’s Driving You?’ says about the need to conduct fingerprint background checks on Uber and Lyft drivers to protect passengers.

Question: Are Uber and Lyft drivers placed in a position of responsibility and trust?

Answer: Yes, this woman’s friend turned to Uber to help get her home.

Question: Are passengers in for-hire cars uniquely vulnerable?

Answer: Yes, especially since Uber is viewed as a solution to drinking and driving. Blacked-out and passed-out is as vulnerable as can be.

Question: Should an Uber driver’s full criminal history be reviewed before permitting him to drive?

Answer: Yes, because the regulatory body has a responsibility to ensure such public-transportation-for-hire is provided reasonably safely.

Question: What’s the most effective way to view a driver’s full criminal history?

Answer: Fingerprint-based criminal background checks conducted by law enforcement.  Need proof? Simply ask any law enforcement official who’s in a position to know.

Question: What if it turns out this Uber driver didn’t have a criminal record?

Answer:  Law enforcement experts emphasize fingerprint background checks serve as a deterrent to criminals and criminal activity. Clearly, some deterrent to preventing Uber drivers from hurting passengers is needed.

The Maryland Public Service Commission will take up the issue of whether Uber and Lyft drivers should undergo fingerprint-based background checks beginning Nov. 17.

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