Howard Beach Uber Driver Kidnapped & Sexually Assaulted Passenger, Prosecutors Said

 Harbir Parmar, 24, allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted a passenger. Photo Courtesy of the FBI, via AP.

Harbir Parmar, 24, allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted a passenger. Photo Courtesy of the FBI, via AP.

By Dylan Campbell

A Manhattan woman was taken on a ride from hell when her Uber driver drove her miles away from home, groped her while she slept and robbed her of thousands of dollars, federal prosecutors announced on Tuesday.

The driver, Harbir Parmar, 24 of Howard Beach, is accused of redirecting the woman’s destination on the app from White Plains to an address in Boston, MA on Feb. 21. On her ride -- to where she thought was home -- around 11:30 p.m., she fell asleep and woke up on the side of the highway in Branford, CT with Parmer allegedly on top of her and his hand up her shirt.

“No one – man or woman – should fear such an attack when they simply hire a car service,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman in a statement.

According to Manhattan Federal prosecutors, the woman asked Parmar to take her to White Plains or the police stations, but the driver refused and kicked her out onto I-95. She went to a nearby convenience store for help.

“This individual’s behavior goes far beyond ridesharing companies’ efforts to revise their ethics codes and put stronger emphasis on background checks for their drivers,” said Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “The people we serve deserve much better. These charges are appalling, and such behavior will never be tolerated by the NYPD or any of our local, state, or federal law enforcement partners.”

Parmar is facing up to 20 years in prison, if convicted with kidnapping and wire fraud charges.

Additionally in the prosecutor’s investigation, they found that Parmar raked up $3,600 in improper charges by issuing invalid cleaning fees and overcharging for rides.

The Department of Justice said there may be more victims. Any information can be reported to the FBI’s Westchester Resident Agency at (914) 925-3888.