“Get out or get dealt with” | Uber driver carjacked at gunpoint in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE — Two violent incidents in two days have Uber drivers in the Capital City on edge.

One of the victims is a nurse practitioner who drove for Uber at night to help supplement her income. That was until she was robbed while answering a call. In an interview with Unfiltered with Kiran, she shares her experience of being robbed at gunpoint, leading to the loss of her SUV.

“I noticed the gun being tapped on the window”

The incident occurred on Sunday, May 28, around 10:30 p.m. in the 8000 block of Skysail Ave, situated in the Gardere area of East Baton Rouge Parish.

The Uber driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke to UWK about the incident.

“I was going to pick up a girl. Two guys were walking on the left side of the road while I was on the right side. They walked past me a few feet away. One of them turned around and approached my vehicle, asking if I needed directions with a thumbs-up gesture. I smiled and returned the thumbs up. He went back to his friend, and both of them approached. It was then that I noticed the gun being tapped on the window. Although I had a stun gun and some mace in the car as proactive measures, facing a gun made me realize using them would be futile,” she said.

“Get out”

“I thought they were robbing me, so I rolled my window down to hand them my phone, but they said, ‘No, no, get out.’ That’s when it hit me – ‘Oh, okay, this is happening.’ I guess I took too long due to being caught off guard, and they warned, ‘You better hurry up, get out. We’re not playing with you before you get dealt with.’ So I got out, and they sped away.”

“I was enjoying Ubering. It was only my fourth day with Uber, and all my riders were really nice,” the driver expressed.

Following the carjacking, the stolen SUV was recovered, and the victim has her vehicle back.

“There wasn’t a scratch on it. The gas tank still had a quarter full, and the radio was on the same station at the same volume as I left it. They took a bottle of medication and $35 in cash, but everything else was intact,” she stated.

“These reports are alarming”

UWK reached out to Uber in response to the incident, and they responded by highlighting the safety features they have implemented in their app for drivers:

“These reports are alarming. We take driver safety seriously, which is why we’ve built features like GPS tracking on every trip, an in-app emergency button, and most recently, the ability for riders and drivers to record trip audio in Baton Rouge directly in the app. Our commitment to improving safety remains unwavering.” – Uber Corporate

Two incidents in two days

This incident marks the second occurrence involving an Uber driver in East Baton Rouge Parish within a single weekend. The previous night, on Saturday, May 27, a 69-year-old Uber driver was shot while pulling up to a driveway in Baton Rouge.

Uber also responded to UWK, stating that they have developed several safety features in their app over the years to benefit drivers:

  • Emergency button: Drivers can directly contact 911 by tapping on the emergency assistance button in the safety toolkit. The ability to discreetly text 911 is available in 60% of the US.
  • In-app Audio Recording is also available in Baton Rouge.
  • Uber drivers have access to “live help” from a safety agent who remains on the phone with them throughout the trip and can call 911 if necessary.
  • Every trip is tracked.

Driver’s advice

The driver’s concern was that they do not receive the pick-up address until after accepting the request.

In the meantime, she advises her fellow Uber drivers not to wait for people.

“If the customers are not immediately outside, keep driving around the block. Many times people would ask, ‘Can you wait?’ (The customer) had just messaged me, saying, ‘I’m on my way out.’ But I feel that if I hadn’t waited and continued making the block until she was right there to get in the car, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. I waited for less than a minute,” she said.

As of this report, the men responsible for the carjacking have not been arrested.

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on any new developments.

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