AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A University of Massachusetts Amherst student was allegedly assaulted by a man who identified himself as an Uber driver.
UMass Police Department said that on Saturday at 3:30 a.m. 18-year-old Samuel Texidor Holyoke, allegedly approached a student at UMass and identified himself as an Uber driver. He allegedly offered her a free ride from the Townhouse Apartments to the North Apartments, located on campus.
The victim was allegedly indecently assaulted by Texidor during the drive outside of the North Apartments. Texidor allegedly stopped the vehicle when the victim told him to, and she left, said UMass Police.
The UMass Police arrested Texidor and charged him with indecent assault and battery. He was arraigned at Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown on Tuesday, and is being held without a right to bail.
There are indications that Texidor may have allegedly approached others to offer free rides, bypassing the Uber registration process, said UMass Police. Texidor was allegedly driving a 2014 black Dodge Charger with Massachusetts plate number 5SV875 during the incident, said UMass Police.
Anyone with information related to this incident should contact the UMass Police Department at 413-545-2121, or the anonymous tip line at 413-577-TIPS (8477), or by the UMPD anonymous witness form.
UMass Police suggest the following person safety tips:
- Verify Uber driver credentials against the confirmation you receive from the service before entering a Uber vehicle. When you’re matched with a driver, you will see their name, license plate number, photo, and rating, so you know who is picking you up.
- Customer requests via the app, is the recommended way to engage the Uber service.
- Remain aware of your surroundings as you walk on and off campus. It is always helpful to walk with someone when possible.
- Trust your instincts, if you feel uneasy or sense something is wrong, get away and call for assistance. Be alert, if you feel uncomfortable about someone near you, head for a populated area.
- When you go out, let a friend or roommate know where you will be and when you will return
- Avoid walking alone at night.
- If you are out after dark, use only well-lit routes. Walk near the curb and avoid passing close to shrubs, dark doorways, and other hiding places.
- Don’t leave a social event with someone you’ve just met or don’t know.
- Perpetrators are responsible for sexual assaults. Perpetrators take advantage of vulnerability and seek opportunities to commit sexual assaults.