Police arrest 36-year-old Uber driver in connection with two sexual assaults
Taneem Aziz, 36, is shown in this handout photo. Aziz is facing charges in connection with two sexual assaults.
Chris Fox, CTV News Toronto
Published Saturday, April 20, 2019 11:10AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, April 20, 2019 1:26PM EDT
An Uber driver has been arrested in connection with a pair of sexual assaults.
The first incident happened back on Sept. 6.
Police say that officers were called to the area of Dundas Street East and Sackville Street for an alleged sexual assault at around 1:15 a.m.
They say that a 24-year-old female victim was waiting for an Uber that she ordered when a black SUV pulled up. Police say that the woman got into the vehicle mistakenly believing that it was her Uber.
The driver then drove the woman to a secluded spot, where is alleged to have sexually assaulted her.
Police say the driver then continued to drive around, eventually allowing the woman to exit the SUV.
The second incident happened on April 8 at around 1 p.m.
Police say that a 21-year-old woman entered a black SUV in the Royal York Road and Evans Avenue area after ordering an Uber, however the vehicle was not her Uber.
The driver then proceeded to take the woman away from Toronto, refusing to let her leave.
Police say that the driver took the woman to a fast food parking lot in Mississauga, where she attempted to get assistance from a bystander.
He then drove her to a secluded side street, where he is alleged to have sexually assaulted her.
The woman eventually contacted police after being dropped off later that day.
In a news release issued on Saturday, police confirmed that 36-year-old Mississauga resident Taneem Aziz has been arrested in connection with the two sexual assaults. He is charged with two counts of sexual assault, one count of forcible confinement and one count of extortion.
“We know he is an Uber driver or was an Uber driver at the time of both of these assaults and we also know that he was not the Uber driver that either victim had ordered,” Const. David Hopkinson told CP24 on Saturday afternoon. “I am not sure if he knew (the women had ordered an Uber) or if he was just being opportunistic. Lots of people are waiting for Uber, or Lyft or taxis outside venues so it presents an opportunity for some people to come in, pretend to be an Uber driver and get clients.”
Driver has been removed from Uber platform
Hopkinson said that police “were getting closer and closer” to identifying the driver in the first alleged sexual assault when the second incident happened earlier this month.
He said that incident had “very similar circumstances” and a very similar vehicle description to the first incident, prompting investigators to link the two cases.
The suspect was then arrested shortly thereafter thanks to assistance from Uber’s investigative team, Hopkinson said.
He said that police remain concerned that there could be additional victims out there who have not yet come forward.
“There is a gap (between the alleged offences) and we know that he had been an Uber driver for that time period between the two sexual assaults, so if someone has had a bad encounter with him we would like to hear from them. Not necessarily just for the person to report the crime, of course we would like to hear that, but also to give that person some of the help and support that they need after a violent sexual encounter,” he said.
In a statement provided to CP24 on Saturday morning, Uber said that they immediately removed the accused from their platform after learning of the allegations and are fully cooperating with police.
“What’s been reported is horrible and nothing anyone should go through. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement and will continue to provide any information to them that would be helpful for their investigation,” the statement reads.