Uber driver accused of trying to kidnap 2 women arrested
Police arrested an Uber driver accused of trying to kidnap two women early Saturday in Pittsburgh.
Richard Lomotey, 36, of Monaca, picked up the women and then disregarded the GPS directions and locked them in his Ford Fusion, according to police.
The women requested a ride home to Penn Hills from Pittsburgh’s Homewood section, according to a criminal complaint filed against Lomotey. He began ignoring the directions from his GPS and began to drive south toward Penn Avenue, police said. The most direct route would be to head east on Frankstown Avenue, police said.
The women said Lomotey made comments about their looks, according to the complaint. He allegedly remarked that he was single and “wanted to get with them.”
When he got to the intersection of Penn and South Homewood avenues, Lomotey parked the car and locked the doors, telling the women, “You’re not going anywhere,” according to the complaint.
One of the women was able to jump from the car. The other slid out after her, police said. They began running on Penn, screaming for help. One told police she was frightened of Lomotey because of “the type of questions she was being asked and how he continuously kept looking back at her while driving,” according to the complaint.
One woman provided police a screenshot of the Uber app showing Lomotey’s photo and license plate number, investigators said. A check of the plate showed it was registered to Lomotey, and his Uber photo “exactly matched” the driver’s license photo on file with PennDOT.
In addition to driving for Uber, Lomotey worked as an assistant professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State’s Beaver campus, according to a staff listing for the university. Campus spokeswoman Kristen Doerschner said Lomotey has been placed on leave.
“These allegations are deeply troubling and while we gather more information, he has been put on leave and will not be in the classroom,” she said in an email Monday. “This is a criminal matter, and we cannot comment further.”
Lomotey also was listed on the University of Pittsburgh’s website as a part-time instructor in the School of Computing and Information. Pitt spokesman Joe Miksch said Monday that Lomotey taught classes during this spring’s semester but “is no longer under contract with the University of Pittsburgh.”