North Texas Uber driver allegedly raped elderly passenger
An Uber driver is accused of sexually assaulting an elderly woman while giving her a ride from Dallas to Fort Worth.
Fort Worth police have issued a warrant for driver Hashem Ramezanpour, 40. Police say he picked up the victim in Dallas, then stopped the car and sexually assaulted her in a dark, wooded area before dropping her off at her Fort Worth home on Oct. 22.
"Pulled off the side of the road, exited the vehicle and approached her from the passenger side of the vehicle and that's when actual assault and contact was made," said FWPD Ofc. Jimmy Pollozani.
Fort Worth police say they identified Ramezanpour as the driver through his Uber app and account. Investigators even spoke to him a few days later, but police say -- at that time -- say they did not have enough evidence to arrest him for a crime.
"The reason why we waited so long is we were gathering the information from the sexual assault exams and all info we received from our crime scene search unit plus our labs to return back with a positive ID from the specimen of this individual," Pollozani said.
By the time that information came back, detectives believe Ramezanpour -- who had recently completed an anger management class for allegedly assaulting a family member in Dallas County -- fled the country. Investigators said they believe he may be somewhere in the Middle East.
Uber released a statement, saying in part: "This former driver's access was immediately removed from the app and he has been permanently banned."
Police say he was driving a white 2016 Honda Civic, Texas license plate number JBY 3214 at the time of the incident.
Crime stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.