An 18-year-old visiting South Florida for spring break was sexually attacked by a man who pretended to be her Uber driver outside a Fort Lauderdale bar, police say.
The accused man, Shapsly Silencieux, does drive for Uber, but the app hadn’t assigned him to pick up the woman on Saturday night, officials said. The woman had gotten separated from her friends at America’s Backyard bar in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, so she called an Uber to take her to Bal Harbour to reunite with friends.
While still inside the bar, she told police she glanced at her phone after getting a notice that her Uber driver had arrived and the driver was in a white car. She approached a white Infiniti and asked the man, Silencieux, 37, of Fort Lauderdale, if he was her driver, police said.
Silencieux replied yes, police said.
Police say the woman got in Silencieux’s car, and he drove off with her in the car. Then she got a notice on her phone that Uber was canceling her ride request and billing her $100 for missing her intended ride.
“You aren’t my Uber driver?” she told police she asked the man.
”I’m driving you home,” she said he responded.
But instead they went to his house.
Police say he told the woman he was running low on gas and forgot his wallet at home. He said he lived there with family and she should come inside rather than waiting in the parking garage. She told police she noticed toys on the floor and decided to wait in the entryway.
She said she asked to use the bathroom, and as she was leaving the bathroom, Silencieux grabbed her, forcing her into a bedroom, where he sexually assaulted her, police said.
Later, he forced her back into his car, taking her to Bal Harbour. In the car, she texted her friends about the assault, police say. Silencieux was arrested on a sexual battery charge at his home Sunday and is being held in jail on a $50,000 bond.
Uber said it has taken action against the driver. “Everyone has the right to travel safely and our thoughts are with the victim after this horrific experience. While this trip did not take place on the Uber app, we immediately removed the driver’s access to the app as soon as this was reported to us.”
Eileen Kelley can be reached at 772-925-9193 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @reporterkell.