PFLUGERVILLE (KXAN) — A woman claims a now former Uber driver went off the route, took her to his apartment and touched her inappropriately.
Travis County deputies arrested 55-year-old Michael Olu-Wehuje and charged him with unlawful restraint, a Class A Misdemeanor. An affidavit shows the incident allegedly happened on Thursday Sept. 24 around 2:16 p.m.
“I had used Uber once before so there was nothing out of the ordinary, he talked to me he seemed like a really nice guy,” said Regina Lara, 18, who said she used her Uber App to get a ride to go get a loan.
“I knew it was going to take a long time so I told him, you don’t have to wait for me, I can get another ride back home because they charge you the distance and how long you’re with them,” said Lara.
She said Olu-Wehuje told her it was fine and he would give her a free ride home. “I thought he was being really nice. I didn’t expect him to wait for me because it took me 45 minutes to an hour, and he was still out there,” said Lara.
The 18-year-old said she thought the driver was taking her back to her house, but asked her if she was hungry and detoured to a fast food restaurant. “I told him, ‘no it’s fine, I just want to go home,'” said Lara. “He ended up driving to the 7-11 and the Subway. He drove, then parked and told me to get out, that he was going to get me food and it started getting very suspicious.”
Lara said she texted her manager from work and told her what was happening and that she started to feel uncomfortable. “He made me get in line with him, he made me get food, he insisted on him paying and afterward I asked him, ‘Could you just take me home now?”
She said they got back in the car, but he didn’t take her home. Instead, he pointed out his apartment. He said, “You see those apartments right there? I live there,” said Lara, who said Olu-Wehuje asked if she wanted to see them and she told him no.
Court documents state, “Instead of taking her back home, he drove to his apartment and told Regina to get out and come inside his apartment. Regina states she was afraid for her safety since he did not drive her home.”
Lara said the driver stood behind her and told her to walk, opened the apartment door, and immediately locked the door. She said he told her to sit on the couch, put on cartoons, offered her beer and wine and sat next to her.
“I kept messaging my manager and told her what was going on and advised me to get him to take me some where public or to run out. I told her the door was locked and I was scared and didn’t know where I was.” She said the man touched her lap, rubbed her shoulders and, “grabbed my arms had me stand up and hugged me and told me to hug him back and not to be afraid that he wouldn’t make me do anything I wasn’t ready for.”
The 18-year-old said she was able to convince the driver to take her back to the 7-11 because she needed to get cash from the ATM. “I ran into the restroom, I hid in the restroom and the employees saw me run in there, I was crying and I was scared. I called 911 and let them know what was happening,” said Lara.
Deputies said they saw Olu-Wehuje start to take off, pulled him over and arrested him.
Court records show he’s due in Travis County court on the unlawful restraining charge November 12.
A spokesperson for Uber said he’s no longer a driver for their company and he had passed their background check because no major criminal history appeared.
KXAN learned Olu-Wehuje is currently charged with misdemeanor theft under $500 in Williamson County from 2014. A similar charge from 2009 was dismissed.