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Ghanaian Uber driver in US charged with kidnap of three women


A former part-time instructor in Pitt’s School of Computing and Information who was charged with holding two women in his car against their will on May 11 is now charged with kidnapping a third woman on the same night.

Richard Lomotey, 36, was initially charged with two counts each of harassment, kidnapping and false imprisonment on May 11. This followed a report from two women claiming their male Uber driver had made comments about their looks before pulling over at the intersection of S. Homewood and Penn Avenues and told them they were “not going anywhere.”

Police arrested Richard Lomotey Monday morning on new charges of kidnapping, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment and simple assault. The new charges come from a third woman who said she saw Lomotey’s photo on the news and was certain he was the driver who assaulted her, according to the public safety media blotter.

The woman told officers on Monday she was leaving a nightclub on the 7200 block of Kelly Street in the early morning hours of May 11. She entered a vehicle with an Uber decal on the front windshield, handed the driver $10 and told him where she lived. She did not use the Uber app.

During the drive, the woman said her driver repeatedly asked her about her relationship status, grabbed her wrist, and locked the car doors; locking them again whenever she unlocked them.

The woman said she eventually began struggling with the driver, resulting in him woman ripping her shirt and bra. She jumped from the moving vehicle somewhere in Homewood. Police reported scrapes on her right shoulder and right knee.

She did not initially file a police report, but did so after hearing about the initial May 11 report of a similar incident that happened on that same night.

Police interviewed one of the victims from the initial May 11 report who stated that after Lomotey picked her and a friend up on the 7100 block of Frankstown Avenue, they saw a female running down the street with torn clothing, limping, and appearing to be in distress. They said they asked Lomotey to stop and help her but he refused.

Lomotey responded to the initial incident involving the two women , telling KDKA on May 17 that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. He said he never locked the doors and had pulled over because his GPS froze.

“The whole incident is just absurd,” he said. “It’s just not logical and more importantly, it never happened the way it’s been projected.”

The two women told KDKA they still stand by what they told police.

Pitt confirmed on May 13 that Lomotey was a part-time instructor in spring 2019, but said his contract ended at the end of the semester.

“As of the end of the semester, he is no longer under contract with the University of Pittsburgh,” University spokesman Joe Miksch said in an email.

Uber has called his alleged behavior “unacceptable” and said they are cooperating with police, according to the Post-Gazette.

About Lomotey

Originally from Ghana, Lomotey’s LinkedIn profile shows that he has a BSc. in Computer Science from the University of Cape Coast, as well as a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Computer Sciences from the University of Saskatchewan.

His areas of interest include mobile computing, databases and enterprise applications.

Source: The PittNews

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