A Tallahassee Community College student escaped an attempted kidnapping by a man posing as an Uber driver early Tuesday morning.
Antonio Warren was charged with kidnapping with intent to commit a felony and arrested by the Florida State Police.
The female student accepted a ride from Warren after he told her he was an Uber driver. She began to question Warren’s identity when she noticed he was driving in the wrong direction. Warren said he felt a certain “vibe” from the student that made him expose himself in front of her and feel she was “willing” to perform sexual acts with him.
The student was able to escape safely and call the police.
This event is another episode on a list of Uber-related incidents to occur in the last year.
By allowing everyday vehicles to act as a taxi service, many people have issues with the company and its safety precautions.
Kimber Jennings, a first-year business major, at Florida A&M University (FAMU), said the idea of Uber sounds good but has not tried it herself because the drivers are not trustworthy.
“It’s a stranger driving you somewhere, and that is scary,” said Jennings.
Recent incidents with the transportation service have occurred around the world. In December, a woman sued Uber after accusing one of its drivers of raping her in India. States and cities in the U.S. have also come against Uber, including Philadelphia which opposes the service for operating under disputed terms in the city for nearly a year.
However, some people enjoy the service and its ease, such as third-year mechanical engineering major FAMU student Kendall Parker who used Uber with no issues during her summer internship in Jupiter, Florida.
"I see nothing wrong with Uber. I used it all the time when I was at my internship in Jupiter [Fla]. It is an easy way to get around. I still use it here at school since I don't have a car."
According to Uber spokesman Crispin, Uber drivers undergo strict background checks and screenings that ensure a safe ride to all passengers. The company as a whole practices safety as well, going as far as not to allow Crispin to reveal his last name when he was asked for comments.
Uber has grown largely in the past year and is used frequently on college campuses where many students rely on public transportation. Whether riding with Uber or not, officials at FAMU, FSU and TCC say they hope all students make wise transportation decisions.