'I felt like we were being kidnapped' San Francisco couple says Uber driver wouldn't let them out of SUV

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A San Francisco couple says an Uber driver refused to let them out of the car on the way to Oakland airport this month.

Oakland police are involved and Uber is investigating.

"He's advising that an Uber driver won't let his family out of the vehicle," said a 911 dispatcher, on a Broadcastify recording, around 1 a.m. on Dec. 9.

The man on the other end of that 911 call was Brian Resler. "I felt like we were being kidnapped," he said.

RELATED: San Francisco based Uber reports more than 3,000 sexual assaults on 2018 rides

On Dec. 8, Resler and his wife were returning home to the Bay Area from a trip to Disneyland.

Their original flight to John Wayne Airport in Orange County got diverted from San Francisco to Oakland because of weather, so the couple left their car at Oakland Airport. But, their return flight was still to SFO, so Alaska Airlines offered to order them an Uber back to their car at Oakland airport.

But, Resler said Alaska Airlines entered a generic Oakland destination in the Uber app, instead of the airport... which the driver didn't seem to understand.

"That's when he started yelling at us and said that we were trying to trick him and that we were stealing from him, and that's when all of a sudden, we had been stopped in the middle of the road, he peeled out and hopped onto the entrance ramp to the highway," Resler explained.

Refusing to let him and his wife out of the SUV at the Oakland Airport, Resler says the Uber driver got on Interstate 880 at the 98th Avenue entrance.
"We started getting a little more panicked," Resler said. "We're begging and pleading him to just stop, just let us off anywhere. We'll call another car, we'll figure out a way there. We offered to give him cash to let us out of the car and he just continued to yell at us and so finally I called 911."

The Uber driver eventually got off 880 at the Broadway exit, where Oakland Police met them. Resler says police spoke to him and his wife, as well as the Uber driver.

From there, Resler and his wife ordered a Lyft to Oakland Airport.

RELATED: Uber unveils new safety features amid scathing report

Frustrated with what he felt was an insufficient response from Uber on the matter, Resler contacted ABC7 News, and reporter Kate Larsen reached out to the company.

In a statement, Uber said the driver no longer works for them: "What's been described is disturbing and we have removed the driver's access to the app. We stand ready to support law enforcement with their investigation."
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.