A Florida Keys man early Thursday morning lied to a woman about being an Uber driver — and while she was in his SUV, exposed himself and touched her against her will, the sheriff’s office said.
Enmanuel Noslen Teixeira was charged with sexual assault, kidnapping, battery and indecent exposure. An Uber spokeswoman said the 32-year-old Stock Island man is not one of their drivers.
On Thursday afternoon, Teixeira remained locked up at the county jail on Stock Island without a bond. He is due in court Sept. 2. It was unclear whether Teixeira has legal representation.
The 45-year-old woman, who lives in the Lower Keys outside of Stock Island, was not named by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
She told Keys deputies she was drinking at Rick’s Bar on Duval Street before 1 a.m. Thursday. She decided to take an Uber home but wasn’t sure how to order the ride.
While she was outside the bar, a silver SUV — with an Uber logo decal on the windshield — pulled up.
Deputies said Teixeira was not driving for Uber at the time, but the woman believed he was.
“She had been drinking at Rick’s and said that was a rare occurrence for her,” said Adam Linhardt, a sheriff’s office spokesman. “She used Uber but didn’t know how, and was having trouble using it when the suspect pulled up and said, ‘Do you need an Uber?’ ”
Uber tells its drivers that under local regulations they must display an Uber decal, which they provide, but that when they are offline they should remove it. Still, stickers, decals and LED signs with rideshare logos, including Uber and Lyft, are easy to buy online.
Not only was Teixeira not a real Uber driver, deputies said, but he used the pickup to assault the woman.
During the ride, Teixeira repeatedly asked her to touch him even after she refused his advances, Linhardt said. The woman told deputies that Teixeira tried to pull up her dress, grabbed her wrist and put his hands on her legs, as she told him to stop and let her out.
At one point, he pulled over on Boca Chica Key. That’s when he exposed himself, Linhardt said.
Teixeria kept driving and eventually took her to her home.
Teixeria told deputies the woman flagged him down for a ride. He denied any wrongdoing and said he only stopped on Boca Chica Key because the woman had to relieve herself. He also told deputies that the woman was riding in the front passenger seat.
Uber no longer requires riders to sit in the back seat of their drivers’ cars, but asks that riders only use the front seat if they have to — if they are in a group that can’t fit in the back.
Uber says it does background checks on all drivers, looking for driving violations and criminal history, before they’re hired and monitors drivers during their employment and does additional checks every year.