Uber driver charged with kidnapping after allegedly trapping woman in car in Boston

An Uber driver faces a kidnapping charge after allegedly trapping a woman in a car in Boston last week. 

Police arrested Kamal Essalak of Acton, Mass., on an outstanding warrant from Boston Municipal Court after a woman said he would not let her out of the vehicle on Thursday, despite her requests and screams. 

The Boston Police Department said the woman entered the vehicle at about 8:30 p.m. after requesting a ride and noticed the driver “was behaving strangely,” according to a release. In response, she requested to be dropped off, but as the vehicle stopped, she found child safety locks on the rear doors, “trapping her inside the vehicle.”

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The woman told police that she began to scream and bang on the glass to draw attention to the car as Essalak, 47, allegedly “began to climb into the rear passenger area of the vehicle, laughing periodically.”

“The victim was able to quickly slide around the suspect, into the driver’s seat at which time she was able to unlock the door and exit the vehicle, making her way to safety,” police said. 

Essalak is expected to arraigned in Brighton District Court, according to police. 

Uber said in a statement obtained by The Hill that the company was aware of the situation and removed the driver’s access. A company spokesperson also said Uber was in communication with the woman.

"What's been reported is horrifying and something no one should have to go through," an Uber spokesperson said. "We appreciate Acton Police Department's quick actions that helped lead to an arrest in this case."

In its statement, the Boston Police Department encouraged riders to look if child safety door locks have been enabled when entering a ride-hailing service vehicle. 

In December, Uber started a survivor resources hotline for those reporting sexual assault cases related to the ride-hailing service.

Updated at 10:04 a.m.