WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — Charges have been filed against an Uber driver after two women riding in the vehicle were visibly upset and had to flag down a police officer for help. Alarmed and concerned, West Chester University students are rethinking grabbing that next ride share service.
Police say the two women had no idea what was going to happen next as they were in the Uber. They say the driver, Zacharias Georgalis, repeatedly locked the doors as he changed course.
Police say Georgalis has been charged and is facing some potential jail time in connection to the terrifying ride.
“You Uber for a reason, so you don’t drink and drive,” West Chester junior Jackie Mendoza said.
Students’ uneasiness comes on the heels of a terrifying incident for two female students early Friday morning.
“I’d be so scared, really wouldn’t know what to do,” junior Maddie Kreiser said.
Police say Georgalis picked up the young women and began heading in an unfamiliar direction. They say he repeatedly locked the car doors, forcing them to remain in the car.
Georgalis, of Upper Darby, wasn’t home when Eyewitness News came calling.
He’s charged with unlawful restraint and reckless endangerment after the women pointed out his car to a police officer who was nearby.
“People, particularly young ladies, really need to pay attention to who might be in that car with them,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said.
Prosecutors, like Hogan, say they’ve seen a wave of troubling incidents with ride share services across the country.
It was just last month when Hogan’s office brought about the successful conviction of Ahmed Elgaafary on charges he raped an unconscious woman in February in the back of his Uber.
“This is a big concern across the United States. Uber and Lyft are relatively unregulated,” Hogan said.
In this latest case from Friday, Uber said it removed Georgalis’ access to the app immediately upon learning of the case.
Parents like Steve Campbell are nervous after hearing about these incidents.
“That’s what me and my wife are afraid of. We keep telling them it’s not safe,” Campbell said.
Eyewitness News reached out to an attorney for Georgalis, who did not immediately return a call.
West Chester University issued a statement, pointing students to best safety practices when using ride sharing services.