BOSTON — The reported kidnapping of an Allston woman by the driver of a ride-sharing service early Sunday morning may actually have been the result of a miscommunication, according to police.
Boston police launched an investigation after the unidentified woman alleged she had been abducted while trying to order a Lyft home from Paddy O’s on Union Street near Faneuil Hall at between 12:50 and 1:00 am.
The woman, who claims her cell phone had died shortly after calling the service, was mistakenly directed by a group of male patrons into the wrong vehicle of an Uber driver and driven 30 minutes north on I-95 before managing to escape at a gas station near the New Hampshire where she flagged down a passing car and was driven back to her residence. Police report a language barrier prevented the driver from communicating the misunderstanding, indicating the driver assumed the woman was his intended passenger.
Despite what police have dubbed a misunderstanding, it follows on the heels of a number of high profile abductions at local bars and nightclubs last year including 23-year-old Dorchester mother Jassy Correia, who was found dead in February in the trunk of a Rhode Island man’s car days after being reported missing following a birthday celebration at Venu in the Theater District. In response to the number of attacks, Boston police and the Mayor’s office released a 32-page document of best practice guidelines for local establishments following the increased concerns over safety.
“Safety is fundamental to Lyft,” a spokesperson for Lyft said in a statement responding to Sunday’s investigation. “We take any allegation like this incredibly seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation of the incident. We have been in touch with the rider to offer support, and have deactivated the driver while we investigate. We have been in contact with law enforcement and will continue to help in every way we can.”
A class-action lawsuit was filed against the San Francisco based ride-sharing service last year after over 20 victims reported they had been sexually assaulted by a Lyft driver.
The woman, who declined a medical evaluation, stated that she had not been assaulted and will not be filing charges.
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