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CBS2 Exclusive: Woman Says Uber Driver Grabbed, Assaulted Her

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A woman said she had escaped from an Uber car early Thursday, after the driver started to assault her.

The woman spoke exclusively to CBS2's Tracee Carrasco. She was still too shaken to be on camera or have her name used.

"My only fault that night was being female," the woman said.

It should have been a normal ride home to Woodside, Queens for the woman.

The 31-year-old was working on the Lower East Side when she called Uber to pick her up just after 2 a.m. Thursday. She said she had fallen asleep in the back seat and woke up in front of her building to find the driver touching her.

"I feel his hand touch, caress my face to wake me up, and then he tells me, 'You look stressed,'" she said. "So he goes to the back seat grabs me by the shoulders."

She said she fought back.

"He continues to grab my face and lean in for a kiss, and I forcefully pushed him away," she said. "And luckily, the door was unlocked, so I was able to grab my things and just run back to my house."

She said she was thankful she woke up when she did.

"If I hadn't pushed him away, then I'm pretty certain he would have done more," she said.

The woman said she has filed a report with the NYPD, and says they're classifying the case as "harassment."

A representative of Uber said, "This is a troubling report and we have immediately suspended the driver as we investigate further."

Uber told CBS2 the driver is licensed by the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission and passed the TLC background check. But the victim said that is not enough, and is calling for a stricter screening process.

"You could have a clean record, but there's no way to tell that this guy is going to take advantage of a woman," she said.

The woman said she was issuing a warning so it doesn't happen to anyone else.

"It's so easy to feel that you're OK in a car, so I think it's important to not let your guard down," she said.

Uber said it will continue to work with the NYPD as it investigates. The TLC said it is also investigating.

The victim said she would think twice before ever using a car service like Uber again.

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