LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas Uber driver says she expected more communication from the company after she claims she was offered beer, french fries and a generous tip from a passenger and then was sexually touched.
Doris Peterson has been an Uber driver for 2 years and until now, she loved it.
"It's part-time for me, if I had to be out here full-time, needless to say I would be, but it's part-time," said Peterson.
The driving gives her the freedom to be her own boss, set her own ours and more importantly, she gets to help people.
"I'm 57 years old," said Peterson.
"I don't mind going the extra mile, treat others like I wanted to be treated," added Peterson.
On a recent ride, Peterson picked up a passenger at the McDonald's located at Paradise Road and Twain Avenue and drove him a short distance to a short term rental property he was staying at.
After they arrived, Peterson said she noticed the passenger, a man in his 30s, was having trouble using the keypad to get inside.
Peterson said she got out of her vehicle and assisted the man inside.
"One we got in, he told me he wanted to tip me," said Peterson.
"He gave me a $20 tip in cash but he wanted to give me an additional tip," explained Peterson.
Peterson said she handed over her cell phone for the man to download an app to electronically transfer cash.
According to a Las Vegas police report, the man offered Peterson beer and french fries while the app downloaded.
Moments later, Peterson said she realized the man did not download a cash transfer app, but instead, downloaded a chat messaging app.
Peterson said she asked for her phone back and became nervous.
According to the report, that is when the man blocked the front door which prevented Peterson from getting back to her car.
"He then proceeded to grab my face and started to try and kiss me and that's when the reality of what was happening set in, that I was in a bad situation," said Peterson.
The Las Vegas police report goes on to describe the man then grabbed Doris on her breasts and vaginal area, exposed his penis and demanded a sex act.
Peterson said she kneed the man in the groin and made a run for it.
Peterson said even after she got away the guy called and texted her via the app that was downloaded on her phone.
Peterson said she reported the sexual assault to Uber via e-mail around 9 p.m. on Dec. 21, 2018, approximately 20 minutes after the incident.
Peterson said she contacted police at 9:15 p.m. the same evening to report the incident.
Peterson claims she did not receive a phone call from an Uber representative until Jan. 9, 2019, 16 days after the assault.
"I think Uber needs to revamp their policies and procedures," said Peterson.
"I feel like, right now, I'm just a pawn in their scheme of making money, they didn't care about my safety," said Peterson.
According to Peterson, she handed over the limited information she had about the rider she only knew as "Rency" to police.
Peterson said Las Vegs police have indicated to her they will be moving forward with charges against the suspect.
13 Investigates contacted Uber regarding the handling of Peterson's incident and the company released the following statement:
“What the driver reported is unacceptable, and we regret that she didn’t have the customer service experience she has come to expect from Uber. The rider has been removed from the app.”
"It's important to look for exit routes and 'what is my strategy if I need to get out of the situation," said Psychotherapist Alyson Shainker.
Shainker is an expert in sexual-related crimes and served as the director of client services at the Rape Crisis Center.
“If you find yourself the victim of any kind of crime, especially sexual assault, no matter how you respond, it is never your fault," added Shainker.
Uber has several ways to contact the company should a similar incident occur including a 24/7 phone line.