RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Commonwealth University Police arrested and charged a 32-year-old man with the alleged sexual battery of a woman who was a passenger in his Uber.
Hanif Khan, of Richmond, was arrested for a crime that police said occurred around 3:45 a.m. when the Uber driver picked up a woman on the 1100 block of West Cary Street on Sunday, Feb. 4.
VCU Police said they received the report of the sexual battery between the 1100 block of West Cary Street and the 1100 block of West Marshall Street. The woman told police that during her ride, the driver grabbed her hand and forced it down the front of his pants, and that he also grabbed her breasts over her clothing.
Khan was arrested Tuesday. He was charged with two counts of sexual battery. He is being held without bond at the Richmond City Justice Center.
Khan has no affiliation to VCU, officials said.
VCU Police ask people to take extra precautions when using ride-sharing apps
"Try to ride with someone," VCU Police Detective Sgt. Chelsea McCarty said. "We recommend pairs, going in pairs always."
VCU student Jane Fischer said it was a strategy she already practiced.
"I try not to do it alone," she said. "I try to make sure I have one other girl with me."
Sgt. McCarty said she recognized that was not always possible, so she advised riders to always verify the identity of the driver and the car before getting inside.
"Let them give you the location of where you've requested, so you know it's the appropriate driver and then compare that photograph with the driver you see in front of you," McCarty said.
She also recommended downloading the Live Safe app. It's free and allows you to let friends or family track your route in live time.
It will also allow you to either call 911, campus police, or message a campus dispatcher.
Uber actually has a built in safety measure within their app.
When you request a ride and the driver accepts you can swipe up on the app screen and type send status.
That will share your trip details with friends or family, they will receive a text message that displays your driver's first name the vehicle information as well as real time information as to where you are on a map.
"I feel like that's good to know. I feel like that's helpful and we should always do that," Fischer said.
Anyone with information pertaining to this or any crime can contact the VCU Police Department 24/7. For emergencies call (804) 828-1234. For non-emergency tips call (804) 828-1196.