A pair of pretty young women say they were taken on a horror ride by an Uber driver who became violent and dumped them in the middle of the night – next to a scary reservoir.
Shenel Osman, 28, and Rachel Cousins, 26, booked an Uber home after a night out clubbing but what was supposed to be a 20 minute journey turned into a nightmare.
The two friends say the driver had taken them on a detour “in the opposite direction” and when they asked him to turn around he began quadrupling the fare.
Panicking Shenel, a junior buyer for a retail firm, cancelled the trip on her app but the driver of the black Mercedes E-Class only became more aggressive and stopped next to a reservoir – at about 1am on Sunday morning.
The pair claim he got out of his seat and violently grabbed Rachel’s arm and yanking at her seatbelt shouting “you are not my responsibility anymore, get out of my property now.”
Shenel, who had joined Rachel out clubbing at Club 195 in Epping, Essex said: “He took a detour and drove in the opposite direction to our destination, when I realised I asked him to turn back as I noticed we were nowhere near my home address.
“He continued to drive whilst quadrupling our fee, furious cancelled our journey.
“He then became very aggressive and told us we had to leave his car instantly.”
On the roadside in the early hours of Sunday morning in Chingford, east London, Rachel called police while Shenel called for another taxi.
“He grabbed my arm to pull me out and then yanked my seatbelt from above my shoulder and pulled it repeatedly out the door so that it went tight across my neck.
“Luckily I’m ok, he did it because we confronted him about where he had driven us to and why.
“We had no choice but to leave the taxi as he was verbally abusive as well as aggressive, he was repeatedly shouting ‘you are not my responsibility anymore, get out of my property now’.”
The pair, who were refunded by Uber after complaining, say the driver has now lost his licence.
Rachel, who also works as a junior buyer, said: “At the moment they have refunded us and revoked the driver’s taxi licence with immediate effect.
“The rest they will take up with the police once we have written our statement.”
She added: “I called the police as soon as he grabbed hold of the seatbelt and Shenel was shouting at him to stop attacking me and then she was trying to request another taxi so that someone would come to our location quickly as we were in the middle of nowhere.
“Shenel had grabbed my bag and exited the car whilst I was still on the phone to the police and he was standing in the doorway of my side and I put my foot out as he went to slam the door shut with me still in the car.
“I feared he would drive off with me still in there which is why I put my foot out to prevent him from closing the door and making my exit,
“He then drove off shouting out the window at us.”
The girls, both from Chestnut, Hertfordshire, also insist that no driver “with that much aggression” should not be allowed to work.
Shenel added: “We are just shocked that something like this could happen and grateful that it wasn’t worse.
“We called the police at the scene and are going to write a formal complaint about this man.
“He should not be allowed to work with that much aggression and leave two young girls on a deserted road at that time of night.
“Not only was he unprofessional but he was also heartless.”
In an investigation Uber have condemned violence by their taxi drivers but claim that every employee is required to undergo the same checks as any other cab driver.
A spokesperson said: “All drivers are fully licensed and they got through the same checks and balances as a black cab driver.
“We will be talking to all parties involved including the riders as well as the driver.
“While the investigation is ongoing the driver has been prevented from taking trips with Uber.
“Violence of any kind is unacceptable and is not tolerated by Uber.
“If serious incidents are reported it is our policy to prevent the licensed driver from using the app whilst we investigate.
“We’re currently investigating this incident and will take the appropriate action when we have all the details.”