BOSTON (CBS) – An Uber driver has been arrested and charged with kidnapping after a disturbing incident in Brighton last week. Kamal Essalak, 47, of Acton was arrested Saturday on a warrant.
Boston Police said a woman called them around 8:30 p.m. last Thursday in the area of Commonwealth Avenue. She said she had requested a ride and got into the car, which police said was being driven by Essalak.READ MORE: Massachusetts' 3 Casinos Have Encouraging Month In March
The woman told investigators Essalak was acting strange, so she asked to be let out of the car. When Essalak stopped, the woman said she tried to get out but couldn’t because the child safety locks were on in both rear doors.
“As the victim began to scream and bang on the glass in an attempt to draw attention to the unfolding situation, the suspect began to climb into the rear passenger area of the vehicle, laughing periodically,” Boston Police said in a statement.READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
Police said the woman was able to slide around Essalak, climb into the driver’s seat and escape.
Essalak pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday in Brighton District Court on a kidnapping charge. He was released on personal recognizance. Essalak’s attorney said the allegations are false and that his client has been an Uber driver for four years without any issues.
In a statement to WBZ-TV, an Uber spokesperson confirmed Essalak is one of their drivers and that the incident happened during an Uber trip. His access to the app was removed and the spokesperson said Uber has been in touch with the woman.MORE NEWS: Plainville Firefighter In Coma After Contracting COVID-19
“What’s been reported is horrifying and something no one should have to go through. As soon as we became aware, we immediately removed this driver’s access to Uber. We appreciate Acton Police Department’s quick actions that helped lead to an arrest in this case,” the spokesperson said.