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Uber driver charged with kidnapping after ‘trapping female passenger in car by enabling child locks’

Boston Uber driver, 47, is charged with kidnapping after ‘trapping female passenger in his car by activating child safety locks before trying to climb into back seat with her’

  • Kamal Essalak, 47, allegedly trapped a female passenger in the backseat of his Uber by activating the child safety locks 
  • Essalak allegedly climbed into the rear passenger area of the vehicle, laughing as the passenger screamed
  • The woman was eventually able to escape by climbing over Essalak into the driver’s seat before unlocking the door and fleeing 
  • Essalak pleaded ‘not guilty’ to kidnapping charges in Brighton District Court on Monday and was released. He is due back in court in May 
  • His lawyer claimed the incident was a ‘miscommunication’
  • Uber fired Essalak and said in a statement: ‘What’s been reported is horrifying and something no one should have to go through’

A Massachusetts Uber driver has been charged with kidnapping after allegedly trapping a female passenger in his car by enabling the child safety locks before climbing into the back seat as she screamed for him to let her out.

Kamal Essalak, 47, pleaded not guilty to kidnapping charges in Brighton District Court on Monday, as his lawyer claimed the incident was a ‘miscommunication’.

According to police, the woman ordered the Uber last Thursday in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.

When Essalak arrived she noted that he was ‘behaving strangely’ and asked to be dropped off and let out of the car.   

Prosecutors say Essalak stared at the woman when she got into the car, and told her it was ‘going to be an hourlong ride’, even though the destination was only a few minutes away, according to the Boston Globe.

Essalak pled ‘not guilty’to  kidnapping charges in Brighton District Court on Monday

Police said Essalak eventually stopped the car near her apartment but the passenger could not get out because the child safety locks had been enabled on both rear doors, trapping her in the vehicle.  

‘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,’ police said in a statement.

According to police, the alleged victim was able to slide around Essalak into the driver’s seat, unlock the door and exit the car.

Prosecutors say  Essalak took out his phone and recorded the woman as she ran away, the Globe reports.

Essalak (right) leaves court along side his defense attorney Thomas Chirokas

Essalak (right) leaves court along side his defense attorney Thomas Chirokas

Essalak's defense attorney, Thomas Chirokas, told reporters outside the court that the incident was a 'great misunderstanding' caused by a 'language barrier'

Essalak’s defense attorney, Thomas Chirokas, told reporters outside the court that the incident was a ‘great misunderstanding’ caused by a ‘language barrier’

The court was told how the woman was left terrified because the Uber driver knows where she lives.

Police arrested Essalak on Saturday. He was arraigned in Brighton District Court on Monday and idue back in court in May.

He was released on personal recognizance and has been ordered to stay away from his alleged victim. 

His defense attorney, Thomas Chirokas, told reporters outside the court that the incident was a ‘great misunderstanding’ caused by a ‘language barrier’

‘We’re going to take it one step at a time and we’ll be back here in May,’ he said.   

Uber have confirmed that they fired Essalak, who lives in the town of Acton, around 20 miles west of Boston. 

‘What’s been reported is horrifying and something no one should have to go through,’ the ride share company said in a statement to CBS Boston

‘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 Boston Police Department advised customers using ride sharing services to take an extra moment before entering the vehicle to check if the child safety door locks have been enabled. 

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