Uber plans to roll out new safety features after Samantha Josephson death
A man who admitted he impersonated being an Uber driver after he was caught with an unconscious University of Alabama student in his car was charged with multiple crimes Friday, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said.
In March, Tommy Wayne Beard was arrested after he was found in a vehicle with an unconscious female college student in the backseat, al.com reported.
Investigators found a loaded gun and a fake Uber light mounted on his dashboard in a search of the 62-year-old’s car, and he was wearing a sex toy, according to WBMA.
The Northport, Alabama, man admitted to investigators that he pretended to be an Uber driver in order to pick up the 22-year-old college student, per the Tuscaloosa News.
She told investigators “she remembered leaving a bar, but did not remember getting into his car,” WBRC reported.
A search of his cellphone uncovered pictures of more “college-aged females that appeared to be unconscious while they were in the backseat of his vehicle,” which Beard admitted taking while giving them rides, according to al.com.
The women in the pictures were wearing clothes, but the images were of their “breast and crotch area,” per WBMA.
Further examination of his “home and electronic devices” led to the identification of two more victims, and one of them had spoken to law enforcement in the past, the Tuscaloosa News reported.
She “was discovered walking out of the woods in that part of the county and we didn’t know what happened to her,” Capt. Kip Hart of the Sheriff’s Office said, according to the newspaper. “She didn’t know what happened to her.”
Because of the new evidence, Beard has been charged with two counts of kidnapping and impersonating a ride-share driver, per WBRC.
Beard’s bond was set at $30,000, and anyone with information about Beard is asked to call the Tuscaloosa Sheriff’s Office at 205-464-8690, al.com reported.
Beard was charged with first-degree kidnapping when he was arrested in March, according to the Tuscaloosa News.
In March, 21-year-old University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson was found dead after getting into a car she mistook for an Uber, The State reported.
Following that, South Carolina lawmakers passed legislation that requireson the front of their cars, as well as the back so riders can identify and verify their ride-share drivers during pickup, according to The State.