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Penn State Prof Working as Uber Driver Accused of Kidnapping Three Women

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Three women have accused a Pennsylvania State University professor of kidnapping them while he was working a second job as an Uber driver.

Richard Lomotey, 36, allegedly kidnapped and harassed two women on May 11, NBC News reported Wednesday.

He was arrested that same day, according to ABC News.

Officials connected the assistant professor to a second case that occurred on May 11 and charged him with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, assault and reckless endangerment.

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The woman in the second case paid Lomotey $10 for a ride, NBC reported.

Uber does not allow cash payments, however.

Lomotey allegedly asked the woman about her relationship status and attempted to lock her in the car when she did not want to date him, according to the criminal complaint filed Monday, ABC reported.

Does Uber need to do a better job of protecting passengers?

The woman and Lomotey allegedly got into a fight and the victim’s bra and shirt were ripped.

She reportedly opened the car’s door while it was moving and escaped.

The two women reported a similar story, where Lomotey allegedly locked the doors.

They added that Lomotey ignored map directions on the Uber app and said he “wanted to get with them.”

The two women were also able to escape.

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“These allegations are deeply troubling,” Penn State told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday.

“He has been put on leave and will not be in the classroom. As this is a criminal matter, we cannot comment further.”

Lomotey is in the Allegheny County Jail and was not able to post bail Monday, NBC reported.

He is an assistant professor of technology at Penn State. The university placed him on leave.

University of Pittsburgh Director of Media Relations Joe Miksch also confirmed to TheDCNF that Lomotey taught part-time at the School of Computing and Information in the spring 2019 semester.

“As of the end of the semester, he is no longer under contract with the University of Pittsburgh,” Miksch said.

Lomotey drove with Uber for a couple of months, but the ride-sharing service removed his access to the app.

“What’s been described is unacceptable,” an Uber spokesperson told TheDCNF on Thursday.

“The driver’s access to the app has been removed and we stand ready to cooperate with law enforcement to support their investigation.”

Last week, Lomotey told KDKA the charges against him, at least the ones related to the two women who were riding together, were false.

“The whole incident is just absurd,” he said. “It’s just not logical and more importantly, it never happened the way it’s been projected.”

Discussing the alleged incident with two of the women, he claimed his app froze, which he suggested may have led to some confusion.

“I tap on the app to zoom in on the map to see whether I should make a right turn, left turn or go straight,” he told KDKA.

“That’s when I realized the app was frozen, so I pulled over at the side of the road at the intersection.”

Then the women in the car fled, he said. “She opened the door and started screaming out, ‘Niya, Niya, run,’” Lomotey said.

“Within minutes, I’m talking about three minutes, Uber had sent me a notification to go pick up someone else, so then I continue picking up people throughout the night to morning,” he added, claiming his wife eventually called to tell him the police were looking for him, so he turned himself in.

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A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.

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