An Uber driver has been charged for allegedly sexually assaulting a customer earlier this year, Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said Thursday.
Investigators have charged Muhammad Arslan Afzal with first-degree kidnapping, an attempted second degree sexual offense, indecent exposure and sexual battery.
The incident happened early on May 9 on Interstate 540 near Knightdale, investigators said, when the driver allegedly pulled onto the shoulder of the road and asked his passenger to move to the front seat to help him with his GPS.
At that time, the sheriff said Afzal assaulted the woman. After driving her to her destination, he fled the area.
The sheriff’s office secured arrest warrants July 13, according to a news release.
“We thought it would be necessary to help bring a little bit more awareness here locally and here in Wake County as it pertains to Uber drivers and those services that they offer and some of the things that (have) happened,” Baker said, adding that he hoped the announcement would prevent similar assaults from happening in the future.
The Sheriff’s Office released a list of safety tips for Uber passengers, including recommending that rides be shared with other people, that riders request their car before going outside and that riders stay in the backseat with their seat belt on. If a rider feels unsafe, the Sheriff’s Office said, they should immediately call 911.
Afzal is being held in the Wake County jail under a $250,000 secured bond.