Everett Police report arresting a Malden man who lists his occupation as "Uber driver" on charges he exposed himself to a woman walking down the street yesterday from the front of his Dodge Caravan yesterday.
Paul Griffin, 28, was already facing similar charges for a similar offense involving two women near West Street in Downtown Crossing, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports. He was released on $500 bail in that case.
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria expressed his disgust and said the case - and the arrest of an Uber driver earlier this month on a rape charge - shows why the state legislature should put more teeth in its recently enacted ride-hire regulations - and force drivers for companies such as Uber to undergo fingerprinting.
This is the second incident of Uber drivers assaulting women just in the last couple of weeks and we are still waiting for the Department of Public Utilities to implement new regulations requiring criminal background checks for Uber drivers. I once again call on the Legislature to go back into session. Amend this legislation to immediately require thorough background checks for all drivers, and require fingerprinting. Clearly, these drivers should be thoroughly vetted and they are not.
DeMaria is also demanding a meeting with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to discuss how the company needs to do better screening its drivers:
Within the past several weeks, we as a community have experienced two extremely disturbing incidents relative to Uber drivers who should never have been allowed the opportunity to drive for your company.
In the exposure case, Everett Police say:
Patrol Officer Nicole O’Donnell observed the suspect vehicle being operated on Ferry Street by Glendale Park. Ptl. O’Donnell, along with Ptl. Kristopher Gaff stopped the vehicle. As the officers approached the vehicle, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and drove into oncoming traffic on Ferry Street. The suspect vehicle turned onto a dead end street and the suspect fled on foot from the vehicle. The suspect was eventually taken into custody after fleeing through several yards and streets.
Griffin was charged with open and gross lewdness, lewd and lacivious conduct, failure to stop for police, reckless operation and resisting arrest.