Seattle Uber passenger jumps out of moving car after driver harassment

SEATTLE -- A Seattle woman said she chose to jump out of her moving Uber ride after her driver continually harassed her. The driver is now suspended from the Uber app pending an investigation.

Sid Grogan reported the incident to Seattle Police's East Precinct and Uber. Her story went viral after she shared it on Facebook to warn other women. Since then, she said two women contacted her who had similar experiences with the same driver.

On Sunday, Grogan said she got into an Uber in Capitol Hill right before midnight. What he said during the ride raised red flags.

"He keeps saying, 'So where are we going to go, where are we going to go to talk, where should I take us?'" Grogan said. "He kept repeating that and I kept answering the same thing. I said, 'I'm going home, I'd like you to take me home.'"

That's when she said he pulled over and put his hazard lights on. She said he turned around, looked at her and again asked where he could take the two of them. When she repeated that she just wanted to go home, she said he slowly turned around, locked the car and started driving.

"All I can think about is that he's just going to take me somewhere he wants to take me and I wasn't going to stick around to find out," she said.

She said she pried the lock open with her fingernails, opened the door, jumped out and started running. Seattle Police said she did everything right.

Det. Patrick Michaud said if anyone feels unsafe during an Uber or Lyft ride, they should get out as soon as it's safe to do so. He also said you should share your location and trip details with someone if riding alone.

Uber has installed a safety feature that allows you to share your location with friends during the trip. You can also share your location with the police and call 911 directly from the app if you're in trouble.

Grogan's own experience follows a series of reported sexual assaults in the region where victims were attacked by legitimate ride-share drivers or by men pretending to be their drivers.

Uber said all drivers pass background checks before getting to drive for the company. After her experience, though, Grogan thinks Uber and Lyft should do more extensive vetting of its drivers, including face-to-face interviews.

"Not everybody who has a car should be able to drive other people," she said. "This guy's a total stranger and I have to trust that did their job so I can be safe. And now I don't feel that way."

Since Sunday night, Grogan said she hasn't felt safe staying at her house since the driver had her address as part of the trip details. She also deleted her ride-hailing apps.

Uber said when a complaint rises to the level of suspending a driver, like this incident, "more often than not" the driver will be permanently banned.