An Uber driver was arrested by authorities outside Atlanta after a licence plate check revealed he had a litany of outstanding warrants. Those charges included two counts of attempted rape, two counts of sexual battery, and three counts of aggravated burglary.
At the time of his arrest mid-day Sunday the driver, Kevin Jerome, was on duty and had two passengers in his car, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The decision to run Jerome’s plates was completely random, according to police spokesperson Sarah O’Hara.
It’s unclear how Jerome was able to drive for Uber. The platform claims to perform a background check on all its drivers, and notes on its website that “convictions for felonies, violent crimes, sexual offenses, and registered sex offender status, among other types of criminal records,” disqualify individuals from becoming a driver. An Uber spokesperson told Gizmodo that the company is investigating the incident.
Uber announced a new policy in April to re-run background checks for drivers on an annual basis. Prior to that change, it may have been possible for a driver whose record was clean when signing up for the platform to have been charged with a disqualifying crime without Uber’s knowledge and remain a driver. In Jerome’s case, his charges appear to have been issued in 2016, though it’s unclear when he applied to join Uber.
This arrest, while so far largely contained to local news, comes at the heels of a damning CNN investigation in late April that found over 100 Uber drivers had been accused of sexually abusing or assaulting their own passengers in the past four years. Ceding to public pressure, Uber as well as its main competitor, Lyft, changed their respective policies on binding arbitration, allowing victims of sexual crimes to sue the companies in open court.