A 45-year-old man has become the third Brisbane Uber driver to be charged with committing a serious crime against a female passenger in just over a month.
The Logan Central man was meant to be driving a 25-year-old woman to a Fortitude Valley bar on Saturday night when he allegedly refused to pull over.
Police said the man then drove through a number of inner-city suburbs for over an hour before heading south via the Clem 7 Tunnel.
The woman tried to get help from passing motorists by opening her door and was able to call police when the driver pulled over on the M1.
The man has been charged with one count of deprivation of liberty and is expected to face the Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 5. He has told 7 News the incident was simply a misunderstanding.
“The GPS signal is, just got lost. And just we go the wrong way,” he said.
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) August 13, 2017
Uber is assisting police with the investigation, a spokesman for the company said.
“The alleged incident is concerning and once we became aware of the allegation, we immediately blocked the driver’s access to the app,” he said.
All Uber drivers are subject to licence and criminal background checks, the spokesman added.
Last month a 47-year-old Samoan man was charged with sexual assaulting a female passenger while using the ride-sharing service in Brisbane that week.
He was later charged with raping a teenager woman in September 2015 while operating as an Uber driver in Ipswich.
A 37-year-old man, who moved to Australia from the UK, was charged with raping a 16-year-old girl he allegedly picked up on July 7.
It is alleged the man turned off the Uber app before driving to an isolated location and sexually assaulting the teenager, who had gone to the shops to buy ice cream.