- A 27-year-old Uber driver was stabbed to death over the weekend, the police said.
- No suspect has been arrested, and rewards were being offered for information leading to an arrest.
- The company said it was working with the police in their investigation, but drivers have said the company should do more to protect them.
- Drivers have complained to Business Insider that they often feel unsafe, given that the company does not perform background or identify checks on riders as it does for drivers.
- Anyone with a credit or debit card can make an account to ride, even with a fake name, Business Insider has confirmed.
An Uber driver was fatally stabbed Saturday night in New York City, according to local news reports.
Ganiou Gandonou, 27, was found with stab wounds inside his black Toyota Camry at about 9 p.m. in the Bronx, The New York Times reported. After bleeding heavily from his neck, he died at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, according to ABC7.
The police have released a video of a person of interest wanted for questioning and were offering a $US2,500 reward.
WANTED for a Homicide that occurred on 03/02/19 @ 9:08 PM infront of 4160 Hutchinson River Parkway East #theBronx @NYPD45Pct ????Have you seen him? Do you know him? ☎️ Call 800-577-TIPS or DM us! ???? are ANONYMOUS! ????YOU CAN RECIVE UP TO $2500 REWARD! #YourCityYourCall @ABC7NY pic.twitter.com/ZXq8y3Kao8
— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) March 4, 2019
An Uber representative told Business Insider that the company was working with law enforcement in its investigation.
“This is a horribly tragic incident and our hearts go out to the grieving family,” the representative said in an email. “We stand ready to work with law enforcement to assist their investigation in any way possible.”
Several drivers have told Business Insider they are often fearful for their safety when driving. While traditional taxis in New York have plastic barriers between the front and back seats, Uber cars have no such protection, and customers sometimes ride in the front seat.
Do you work or drive for Uber? Got a news tip? Contact this reporter at [email protected]
Uber performs background checks on drivers, but no such process is in place for riders. Uber doesn’t verify that passengers have provided their real name, and rides can be purchased anonymously with prepaid debit cards. Business Insider has successfully made accounts with fake names and taken rides on the platform within minutes of signing up.
An NYPD spokesperson declined to comment, saying it was an ongoing investigation. The New York Times noted that the driver was working at the time, but both Uber and the NYPD declined to say whether the passenger was a suspect.
We hope there is swift justice for the for-hire vehicle driver that was killed this weekend, and that the perpetrator is quickly apprehended. Our deepest sympathies are with his family and community during this time. https://t.co/9aSbQ6qflC
— NYC TLC (@nyctaxi) March 3, 2019
A local drivers group said it was offering a $US3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
“We are horrified by the death of our fellow for-hire vehicle driver and our thoughts go out to his loved ones. We must continue to do more to protect the safety of for-hire drivers,” the Independent Drivers Guild, which represents 70,000 drivers for ride-hailing companies in New York City, said.
“We call on anyone who may have witnessed the attack to contact the police so that the culprit may be brought to justice. The Independent Drivers Guild is offering a $US3,000 reward for any witness who can provide information that leads to the arrest of the killer and helps police bring them to justice.”
The driver’s widow, Latifatou Acimi, told the New York Post that her husband was a quiet man who worked hard to provide for her and their 2-year-old son.
“My husband was a very quiet man, a very hardworking man,”Acimi said. “He always said, ‘I’m working hard for my son so he doesn’t have to.'”
“I want to look that person in his face,” she said of the killer. “I want to know the reason why he [did] it, because I know for sure he doesn’t got any reason. He took the wrong person.”
Do you work or drive for Uber? Got a news tip? Contact this reporter at [email protected] Secure contact methods are available here.
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