Comedian Hanna Dickinson, who starred in the 2020 Comedy Central series Get Money, claims she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by an imposter Uber driver. There have been multiple cases of men posing as Uber drivers to assault women in the past. In December 2019, Uber said it received almost 6,000 sexual assault claims over a two-year period in the U.S.
"A few weeks ago I was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a man pretending to my Uber driver and have recently found out this is a regular occurrence. [Uber] what are you doing to help?" Dickinson wrote on Saturday. "The LAPD think that there is a group of Uber drivers who cancel the ride right at the last second and let their 'friend' go pick up instead of them and the two men work as a duo to kidnap women," reads a text message Dickinson included in her first tweet. In a follow-up message, Dickinson wrote that she did not check the license plate. She was with a male friend at the time, and her friend was dropped off first.
No, I didn’t check the license plate. But I was with a guy friend who he willingly dropped off first— Hanna Dickinson (@hansdickie) June 7, 2021
Later, one of Dickinson's followers asked her if this was true, considering there are many false stories on Twitter. "I know that's why I debated taking it to Twitter but sadly it's real," Dickinson wrote.
On Monday, Dickinson confirmed she spoke with detectives, who told her this happened to another woman. However, the other woman did not want to file a report because she thought her parents might get mad at her. "While I know I need to be more careful, I'm not taking responsibility for this one," she wrote. "Women are scared to report this s— because they feel responsible, meanwhile these drivers are continuing to rape women without a second thought. When my friend reported her assault and the driver's photo hit the news, 7 other girls came forward," Dickinson said. Police also told Dickinson that the driver's DNA could be in the system already since "it's typically not a first-time offense."
There have been many cases of imposter Uber drivers assaulting women. In October 2019, a Los Angeles man who pretended to be a rideshare driver was sentenced to 29 years in prison for sexually assaulting at least three women in 2016 and 2017. In February 2020, police in Bakersfield, California, arrested another man linked to sexual assault investigations in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In December 2020, California regulators fined Uber $59 million and threatened to suspend its license to operate in the state for refusing to hand over data on sexual assault reports. Uber later appealed the fine in January.
After immense pressure, Uber did release its first public report on sexual assault claims in December 2019. The company said it received 5,981 allegations of sexual assault in the U.S. in 2017 and 2018. The allegations ranged from unwanted kissing and touching to rape, notes NPR. In March 2020, Uber's "Text-to-911" feature finally became available nationwide. It allows users to easily text 911 to provide dispatchers and law enforcement with ride information.