Uber driver accused of sexually assaulting rider in Palo Alto arrested

Lisa Amin Gulezian Image
ByLisa Amin Gulezian KGO logo
Monday, July 25, 2016
Uber driver accused of sexually assaulting rider in Palo Alto arrested
An Uber driver who picked up a rider near Stanford is accused of sexually assaulting a woman early Sunday morning.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- An Uber driver accused of sexually assaulting a rider near Stanford early Saturday morning has been arrested.

The victim was picked up near University Avenue after midnight.

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She used the Uber app on her phone to order the ride and chose Uber Pool, which allows you to share the price of a ride with other passengers.

When the driver showed up, he told the victim to get in the front seat with him, so that the other passengers who would be picked up next could fill the back seat.

She said she didn't want to, but did anyway.

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And as soon as she sat in the front seat, the driver locked the doors. "Began touching her on the leg, and upon her arrival at her destination he gave her a kiss and throughout that time she was subsequently let out and called the police department," Palo Alto Police Department Sgt. Rod Tuason said.

On Saturday afternoon, police arrested 59-year-old Rodolf Vjerdha, a Redwood City resident.

He is facing a sexual assault charge.

Vjerdha drives a dark maroon or burgundy 2014 Kia Optima.

Police think there may be other victims.

Police said they aren't releasing Vjerdha's photo at this time in order not to jeopardize potential future cases against him.

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