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Worst Five Uber Drivers of 2016

So many to choose from. Before we get into what might seem like mindless Uber driver bashing, let’s get to the point.

The point is law-enforcement experts believe that when individuals undergo fingerprint-based criminal background checks it creates a significant deterrent to future criminal activity. They say so here, on page 10 of a Government Accounting Office report.

Isn’t it time Uber implemented this simple deterrent to drivers harming passengers?

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#1 John Kamens

This charming man is accused of returning to his passenger’s Athens, Georgia home, burglarizing it and sexually assaulting her. According to news reports, he was charged with aggravated sodomy with force and first-degree burglary.

As one legislator somewhere noted: These drivers do know where you live.

California generates the most gruesome cases. This year the state passed a law prohibiting Uber and Lyft from hiring violent felons and sex offenders.  Good start.

The remaining problem is: Since California has yet to require fingerprint-based background checks, Uber drivers can sign up with a fake name. They’ve done so. A convicted murderer was found driving for Uber in Los Angeles after signing up with a fake name.

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#2 John David Sanchez

This man appears to be the stuff that nightmares are made of.  Originally charged with sexually assaulting an Uber customer, he was subsequently charged with raping several other women.

According to prosecutors, his youngest rape victim was 13-years-old. Sanchez allegedly videotaped this incident.

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#3 Jeremy Vague

Another California doozy.

Jeremy Vague is seven feet tall and weighs 270 pounds. This driver for both Uber and Lyft stands accused of sexually assaulting three separate teenage girls who were passengers.

According to news reports, Vague faces charges of sexual penetration by force and false imprisonment.

Maryland was the site of two jarring incidents this year.

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#4 Jonathan Hemming

Uber driver, Jonathan Hemming, was arrested for attempted murder of two Montgomery County, Maryland police officers.

The local news reporter who broke the story dramatically rolled out Hemming’s extensive criminal history. A convicted felon in at least three states, Hemming’s record reportedly includes an armed robbery conviction, along with arson, burglary and theft charges.

Uber did not respond to repeated queries about how the company’s background checks could miss such an obvious record.  They didn’t even mumble that they take reports like this seriously.

Meanwhile, Uber’s fighting fingerprint background checks in Maryland.

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

#5 Westagne Pierre

This second Maryland incident also reportedly took place in Washington, DC and Virginia.  It’s emblematic of news stories we see again and again. Same damn fact pattern.

A young woman drank too much in a Washington, DC bar. A friend, who was concerned about her welfare, called her an Uber to take her home to nearby Fairfax, Virginia. But she woke up in a motel one hour away in College Park, Maryland.

According to news reports, the Uber driver can be seen on surveillance video carrying her limp body over his shoulder before spending time with her.

This is what we mean when we say Uber drivers should be fingerprint background-checked by police because passengers in the ride-for-hire scenario are vulnerable. Passed-out drunk is as vulnerable as an adult human being can get.

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