NY Mom Accuses Uber Driver of Taking Son With Intellectual Disability on Long, Expensive Ride - NBC4 Washington
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NY Mom Accuses Uber Driver of Taking Son With Intellectual Disability on Long, Expensive Ride

A ride that should have cost $16 wound up costing $89

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    Mom Claims Uber Driver Kidnapped Son With Special Needs

    A woman says an Uber driver kidnapped her son with special needs and drove around Westchester for two hours, far off the route. Ida Siegal reports. (Published Monday, Sept. 10, 2018)

    Twenty-four-year-old Ian Singer is proud to live on his own in Westchester. His mother Amy worries, as any mother would, but Singer has an intellectual disability, and a couple weeks ago, her fears came true when she says an Uber driver took him on a long, scary ride he didn't sign up for. 

    Singer had ordered an Uber from his apartment in White Plains to visit a friend in Armonk -- a 10-mile trip that costs around $16 to $17. But when he got in the car, the driver took him far off the route. 

    "I felt nervous, scared, like something was wrong," he said. "I didn't know what to do. I had my phone on but I didn't know if I should call the cops. I didn't know what to do." 

    It took nearly two hours, and the route on the map was nonsensical north, and then south, and back again. The total cost of the trip was $89. Singer said he knew something was wrong but felt too afraid to speak up. 

    "I didn't know what to say because I didn't want the driver to get mad at me, so it was hard for me to say something," he said. 

    Mother Amy Singer said "it's the biggest fear of any parent of a typical child, and then when your child has special needs, it's a big fear." 

    Amy Singer believes that driver was "somebody who is taking advantage of someone who has special needs, and I think he decided to prey on him and push his fare up. And thank God it was just for the money and nothing else." 

    What's worse, she says when she tried to contact Uber to report her son had essentially been kidnapped, she had a hard time getting through, and then got no word on what would happen to the driver. 

    "Look, every company can have a bad apple, but you really vet people as much as possible, and when something does go wrong, you need to be able to address it," she said. 

    Uber said in a statement to News 4, "The experience this rider reported is very upsetting. The driver's access to the app has been removed while we look into this." 

    But Amy Singer wasn't satisfied. 

    "They gave you guys an answer, but I don't know if I was getting an answer, And that's not OK."