Uber driver in Pennsylvania charged with kidnapping after allegedly telling two female riders ‘you’re not going anywhere’

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  • Uber driver Richard Lomotey was arrested over the weekend and charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, and harassment in Pennsylvania, according to police.
  • Pittsburgh police say the suspect told his two female passengers, “you’re not going anywhere,” and tried to lock them inside his car, but the women escaped.
  • Lomotey, an assistant professor at Penn State University, has been put on leave and won’t be in the classroom, according to a university spokesperson.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An Uber driver in Pennsylvania has been arrested in connection with a report that he allegedly tried to lock two female passengers inside his vehicle early Saturday morning.

Police have arrested 36-year-old Richard Lomotey, an assistant professor at Penn State University. Lomotey has been charged with two counts each of kidnapping, false imprisonment, and harassment, according to court documents.

Two women told police that their Uber driver picked them up early Saturday morning but did not follow the app’s GPS route to their destination. The driver also commented on their looks, according to the Pittsburgh police report.

The driver pulled over and told the female passengers, “you’re not going anywhere,” the women told police. The Uber driver allegedly tried to lock the backseat doors of his vehicle, but one of the women was able to open the door and jump out. The two women then ran from the car and shouted for help, police say.

Police were able to identify Lomotey and the car he drove using the Uber app. In a statement, Uber told Business Insider that Lomotey’s access to the Uber app, and his ability to drive for the ride-hailing company, has been revoked.

“What’s been described is unacceptable,” an Uber spokesperson said. “The driver’s access to the app has been removed and we stand ready to cooperate with law enforcement to support their investigation.”

Lomotey has not responded to a request for comment from Business Insider. Court documents show Lomotey has posted bail following his arraignment over the weekend.

An online search of Lomotey shows that he’s an assistant professor of information science and technology at Penn State University’s Beaver campus. Penn State spokesperson Wyatt Dubois told Business Insider that Lomotey has since been put on leave.

“These allegations are deeply troubling and while we gather more information, he has been put on leave and will not be in the classroom,” Penn State said in a statement. “This is a criminal matter and we cannot comment further.”

Lomotey is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on May 23, according to court documents.