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Texas police have suspect in fake Uber driver case

Police in Texas are looking for a man who posed as an Uber driver, and tried to fondle a college student
Police in Texas are looking for a man who pos... 03:42

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Police have identified a suspect in connection with a bizarre Sunday morning incident in which a man pretended to be an Uber driver before trying to hug a Texas Christian University student, according to a university spokesperson.

Campus police used license plate information to narrow down their search, said Holly Ellman, the university's interim director of communication.

"They do have a suspect, but there's nothing more to release at this point," Ellman told 48 Hours Crimesider.

Police say the man approached two women just before 2 a.m. Sunday morning, said his Uber fare did not show up, and asked if they wanted a ride. He then allegedly began making indecent comments as they rode in his dark-colored, four-door sedan.

When the women demanded he pull over, the driver allegedly tried to hug one of them as they escaped the car.

In a statement to CBS DFW, Uber said passengers should only use drivers hailed directly through the ride service's app.

Ellman said the university has urged students to only use cabs that they've specifically called for. She noted that Texas Christian University has not previously had issues with Uber.

But during the last few years, the company has been involved in a series of lawsuits and high-profile incidents that have a shed an at-times harsh light on its safety protocols.

In December 2014, the district attorneys for San Francisco and Los Angeles jointly filed suit against Uber, arguing that the company's claims about background checks and explanations for a $1 "Safe Rides Fee" applied to some fares are misrepresented in company documentation.

Uber did not reply to request for comment about its safety protocols.

Prosecutors highlight the safety page of Uber's own website as Exhibit A in the case, accusing the $50 billion company of "misleading statements about the quality of its background checks and commitment to safety."

Court documents highlight a series of cases in which drivers with felony convictions and serious driving violations have been allowed to drive for Uber. San Francisco DA George Gascon told CBS Los Angeles in August that the cases uncovered by his office run the gamut of violent crime.

"We have drivers who are convicted sex offenders, identity thieves, burglars, kidnappers, and a convicted murderer, and this is just in LA alone," Gascon said.

Court documents indicate the convicted murderer, who was on parole in 2014 when he applied to be an Uber driver, used a fake name to beat the background check.

Nairi Hourdajian, Uber representative, defended the company to CBS Los Angeles in August, arguing that no background check systems are perfect.

"There are taxi drivers who have failed background checks exactly the same, this is just another indication that no system is 100 percent perfect and 100 percent fool proof," she said.

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