Police charge Uber driver with sex assault after Markham incident
Suspect due to appear in court in Newmarket for bail hearing
York Regional Police say they have charged a 30-year-old Uber driver with sexual assault after an incident in Markham early Tuesday.
Police say a woman, 34, arranged for an Uber car from the area near Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive in Richmond Hill, Ont. shortly after 12 a.m.
The driver, a man, allegedly picked up the victim, drove her to a parking lot near 16th Avenue and Woodbine Avenue in Markham and sexually assaulted her.
The accused was scheduled to appear in court in Newmarket, Ont. Wednesday for a bail hearing.
Susie Heath, spokesperson for Uber Canada, said the company has been co-operating with police in the investigation.
"We take every safety incident very seriously and are committed to the safety of everyone who uses Uber," she said.
"Upon hearing of this disturbing incident, we immediately removed the driver from the platform and contacted York Regional Police to offer our assistance and have supported them in their investigation."
Heath said Uber's safety response team is trained to deal with "critical safety issues" and said they will work with law enforcement agencies if necessary.
She said when Uber responds to incidents, it is able to deactivate specific accounts, preventing certain drivers or riders from accessing the platform until the investigation is complete.
Heath said the company also takes steps to ensure safety before, during and after rides.
She said that means they give information to riders about their driver, track all trips from beginning to end using GPS, and enable riders to share their estimated time of arrival and routes.
Anyone with information is asked to call the York Regional Police Special Victims Unit – sexual assault section at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7071.