SAN ANTONIO - For the first time in San Antonio, an Uber driver is facing charges of violence. He is accused of raping a young woman after driving her home.
According to an arrest report from the San Antonio Police Department, the incident happened in October 2016.
The woman was at an unnamed bar. The report states she was so drunk that she passed out in the bathroom. Bar staff helped her outside, where an Uber was waiting.
The Uber driver, a man police identified as Gabriel Vasquez, reportedly helped the woman inside her apartment because she needed help walking. The report states he "escorted her to her bed and began to undress her." He is then accused of raping her.
“You'd like to think that when you're getting into an Uber, you're entering a safe place,” said local Uber user Hattie Piske, who is not connected to this incident. However, she said she is one many San Antonio women shuddering at the thought of this happening.
The 22-year-old victim alerted police and Uber the next day, according to SAPD. Uber said the trip Vasquez gave the 22-year-old was his last Uber ride, and he no longer drives for Uber.
Police said Vasquez did not have any previous complaints.
Uber said the company puts all of its drivers through a background check. Anyone with a felony is not allowed to drive. Vasquez did not have a criminal record, so he wouldn't have been excluded from driving.
Following these accusations, Uber users in San Antonio are already asking why the rideshare company has not utilized stricter fingerprint background checks the city had asked of Uber in 2014.
“I’m definitely challenged to know why Uber isn't just stepping up and doing the fingerprinting,” said Piske.
Uber and the City of San Antonio have faced off over background checks before. After leaving San Antonio in April 2015, Uber and Lyft returned in October of that same year. The city let them return and made fingerprint background checks optional.
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