A ride from Methuen to Norwood early on July 2 turned into a nightmare for a first-time Uber rider who had to fend off inappropriate questions that turned into groping, State Police charge.
State Police say a woman arranged for a ride around 5 a.m. to take her to a friend's house in Norwood:
The victim stated that when she was picked up, having never used an Uber vehicle before, she asked the driver where she should sit; he told her to sit in the front seat. The route the vehicle took was along Routes 93 and 95. Several minutes into the ride, the driver allegedly began asking the victim personal questions about relationships, and then repeatedly asked her to kiss him, which she continually refused to do. At one point during the ride the driver asked the victim to “friend request” him on the social media application SnapChat, and handed her his phone to do so.
The victim stated that after his unsuccessful requests to kiss her, the driver allegedly began touching her inappropriately and making obscene and sexually-themed statements, and at one point grabbed her arm and pulled it toward her body. Throughout the assault the victim turned her body away from the driver in an attempt to impede his ability to touch her. According to the victim, the assaultive and accosting behavior ceased several minutes before the driver dropped her off at her destination in Norwood; the driver immediately drove away.
Driver Junior Clarke, 31, of Lawrence, now faces charges of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, assault and battery and accosting/annoying a person of the opposite sex.