Ahmed Muse was arrested in Jefferson County last Sunday morning after an incident involving a teenage passenger the night before.
The sheriff’s office moved quickly and as of Monday night the 29-year-old Muse was still behind bars facing charges that included second degree kidnapping, false imprisonment, and harassment.
On Tuesday, he was assigned a public defender and bond was set at $50,000.
According to several news accounts and an interview by Fox affiliate KDVR-TV with the teenager identified as Brianna Allen and her mother Shamara Ludwig, Muse broke Uber’s rules on ride sharing, but that was just the beginning.
As stated in the company’s uberPOOL policy, several riders can share a ride, but no matter in what order the passengers entered the vehicle, the one whose destination is closest must be dropped off first.
Allen lives only 10 miles from the part-time job she was leaving around 10 p.m. Saturday. The ride that should have taken 15 minutes took an hour and a half as she describes how Muse first drove another passenger to their destination before returning to Allen’s neighborhood where the driver allegedly locked the doors and began forceably kissing Allen.
She claims he kissed her on the cheek before grabbing her neck and kissing her on the mouth. In her interview with KDVR, Allen says she was able to get out of the vehicle, and then ran to her home where a family member called 911.
Muse was quickly identified by Uber and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was able to get corroboration for the first portion of Allen’s ride with Muse from the passenger who was in the vehicle with her.
Uber has been attempting to improve the safety of its passengers by installing a button on its phone app to call 911. However, in Allen’s case, since her ride was set-up with the help of a co-worker, it is not clear whether she had access to the app and its emergency feature.
Uber in Colorado is one of several state franchises that came under fire earlier this year for not screening drivers more rigorously.
Additionally, attempting to make sure cases like this one never happen, Uber has a very clear policy prohibiting minors, under the age of 18, from using their service under certain circumstances.
Minors cannot obtain an Uber app, nor can anyone set them up for an Uber ride unless the minor is in the company of someone over 18-years-old, but Allen claims she told Muse she was only 15-years-old.
There is no mention of Muse’s immigration status in local reports, nor is it clear what sort of screening Uber requires for its drivers regarding whether they are legally or illegally present in the U.S.
Muse, who is still being held by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office, is expected to appear before a judge on Monday, November 19th when charges could be filed.
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Anna Marie Bolton is a reporter for The Ohio Star