An Uber driver is wanted and accused of assaulting an elderly passenger who asked her to stop texting while driving, according to police.
On Tuesday, Harris County Constable Precinct 4 Mark Herman issued a Facebook post stating that his office is currently searching for an Uber driver in connection to an assault that occurred on February 14, near the 27230 block of the Northwest Freeway in Harris County, Texas.
When police arrived to the scene, they spoke with the victim of the incident, who was identified as a 73-year-old female. While speaking with the elderly woman, police were advised that after she was picked up, the Uber driver “was texting and driving and almost struck another vehicle.”
After noticing that the Uber driver was texting and driving, the 73-year-old rider asked her to stop. Once asked to stop by the rider, the Uber driver “became irate and pulled into a parking lot,” police said.
According to police, the driver then exited the vehicle and ordered the rider to get out of her vehicle. While the elderly woman was still inside the vehicle, the driver grabbed the victim’s purse and threw it on the ground. The driver is also accused of attempting to pull the elderly woman out of the car by her arm, police said.
In response to being pulled out of the car, the elderly woman attempted to use her phone to call 911, but the driver took the phone and threw it on the ground. The Uber driver fled the scene shortly after, according to police.
“A witness observed the incident and contacted law enforcement and provided a license plate number,” police said in the Facebook post. “Video surveillance also captured the incident.”
Following the incident, police conducted a further investigation of the license plate number, which revealed that vehicle involved in the incident was also linked to an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon case being handled by the Baytown Police Department. According to police, the suspect in the aggravated assault case was identified as 22-year-old Naponica Brooks. The 73-year-old woman then confirmed that Brooks was the Uber driver who allegedly assaulted her.
“Naponica Brooks is currently wanted by law enforcement for Injury to an Elderly Person and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon,” Herman said in the Facebook post. “If you have any information regarding her whereabouts, you are urged to contact our dispatch or your local law enforcement.”
As Uber has continued to become more popular in recent years, several similar incidents have occurred.
In 2018, 24-year-old Harbir Parmar was arrested after allegedly kidnapping a woman while he was driving for Uber. WABC news in New York reported that after Parmar picked up a female rider, she fell asleep in his car. While asleep, Parmar allegedly changed the destination. When the female rider woke up, Parmar’s hand was up her shirt, according to WABC.
Newsweek reached out to the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.