Authorities have launched a search for man who’s accused of kidnapping and assaulting an Uber driver in the southwest suburbs and then driving to Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, police said.
The driver, a 29-year-old woman, picked up the suspect Wednesday near a Darien restaurant.
The man, identified as Andrew Anania, 25, entered her GMC Terrain, showed a gun and demanded she drive to alleys in Summit and Stickney, where he sexually assaulted her, police said.
He then demanded she drive him to the 3200 block of West 26th Street in Chicago and went through her purse before fleeing with an unknown amount of cash, police said.
The driver was taken to the hospital and reported to be in good condition.
Following the incident, Lenney Sanchez and others with the Independent Drivers Guild of Illinois are demanding Uber and Lyft take steps to keep more drivers safe before more violence occurs.
“It is every single day - whether sexually assault or shooting,” he said. “It is an every day thing, and it is scary.”
Tracey Thomas, who has been working as a rideshare driver for five years, says she always starts her day with a prayer.
“We don’t know these people - they are strangers to us,” she said, referring to drivers. “And we cannot discern what is on their minds.”
In a statement Uber told NBC 5 it has been in touch with the driver to offer support and is cooperating with police regarding the investigation.