Uber driver charged with kidnapping in Pittsburgh accused of same crime on same night | TribLIVE.com

Uber driver charged with kidnapping in Pittsburgh accused of same crime on same night

Megan Guza
Allegheny County Jail
Richard Lomotey

An Uber driver accused of kidnapping two female passengers earlier this month in Pittsburgh was charged Monday with trying the same thing on the same night on a different woman, court records show.

Richard Lomotey, 36, of Monaca, now faces a second set of charges that include kidnapping and unlawful restraint.

Lomotey was charged May 11 after two women alleged that Lomotey, their Uber driver, ignored the GPS directions to Penn Hills, drove them to a Point Breeze intersection, locked the car doors and told them, “You’re not going anywhere.”

On Thursday, police spoke with a woman who reported she was receiving calls from her cellphone that she’d lost the week prior, according to the criminal complaint. She said she’d lost her phone when she leapt from a moving vehicle to escape from an Uber driver.

The woman told police she was leaving the Galaxy Nightclub early on May 11 in Homewood when she spotted a car with an Uber decal. She said she got in, gave the driver $10 and her address and asked him to drive her home, according to the complaint. She did not use the Uber app.

The driver, who she later identified as Lomotey, “kept asking about her relationship status,” and he kept grabbing her left wrist as he drove, according to the complaint. The woman told police that he would lock the doors, she would unlock them, and he would lock them again.

The woman wanted out of the car, at which point Lomotey allegedly ripped her shirt and bra, according to the complaint.

“She stated she was so afraid she opened the door and jumped from the moving vehicle at an unknown location in Homewood,” police wrote.

Investigators noted that the incident matched the case reported by the two women on May 11. Those women told police that while they were in the car with Lomotey, they saw a woman with torn clothing limping down the street.

They said they asked Lomotey to stop and help the woman, but he kept driving, according to police.

The pair eventually also leapt from Lomotey’s Ford Fusion after he stopped at the intersection of South Homewood and Penn avenues and tried to lock them in the car. The women escaped and called police, who identified Lomotey using a screenshot one woman took of her Uber app.

The first woman, the one who did not use the app, said she recognized Lomotey when she saw him on the TV news, police said. She had a scraped knee and shoulder when police spoke to her five days after the incident.

Lomotey, a professor at Penn State’s Beaver campus, appeared on Tribune-Review news partner WPXI-TV last week to proclaim his innocence. He told the TV station it was a misunderstanding.

Lomotey was arraigned on the first set of charges – two counts each of kidnapping, false imprisonment and harassment – later May 11. He was released on his own recognizance. He was taken into custody by Pittsburgh police Monday morning on the new charges of kidnapping, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment and simple assault.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.