The suspect, identified as Roberto Rodriguez, picked up the woman just after 1 a.m. on Saturday as she was walking in Newark, according to authorities. The man told her he drove for a ride-share service and offered her a lift in his GMC pick-up truck, but she had not ordered the ride.
After she entered the vehicle, Rodriguez pulled over and threatened her with a knife as he ordered her to perform a sexual act with him, according to Newark cops. He then continued to drive her, but she was later able to flee the vehicle.
Cops released surveillance video of the vehicle, and said Sunday morning that Rodriguez had been apprehended. He was hit with multiple charges, including first-degree rape and possession of a deadly weapon.
Rodriguez was also charged with malicious interference with emergency communications for taking the woman’s phone to prevent her from immediately calling the police.
The defendant was ordered to be held on $ 63,000 cash bail.
Last month a woman in Maryland was also sexually assaulted by a man who pretended to be a ride-share driver, and a college student was murdered in South Carolina earlier this year after getting into a vehicle she mistakenly believed was an Uber.
We can’t stress this enough — before getting into ANYone’s car, please make sure the driver and licence plate match what’s displayed on the app you’re using. Those extra 15 seconds of verification could possibly save your life!