Police: Woman escapes kidnapping by man posing as rideshare driver

Baton Rouge Police Department
Baton Rouge Police Department
Updated: Feb. 20, 2019 at 12:15 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Police Department is warning residents to be vigilant after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted and almost kidnapped after being picked up by a man posing as a rideshare driver.

Cpl. L’Jean McKneely says the incident happened on the night of Feb. 19 as the woman was leaving the Tigerland area of Baton Rouge.

According to investigators, the woman ordered a rideshare service to pick her up. The suspect pulled up in a vehicle that displayed a lighted sign similar to the rideshare service she was using. Police say she flagged down the driver, who stopped, and she got inside the suspect’s vehicle. Once the suspect began driving, the woman received a notification that the real rideshare driver was a minute away from her location.

At that point, the woman began to question the driver about his identity. The driver then allegedly reached towards the backseat and sexually assaulted the woman, according to police.

McKneely says the woman escaped by jumping out of the suspect’s moving vehicle. He described the suspect as a black male with a dark-colored sedan. Detectives with the Baton Rouge Police Department are currently reviewing surveillance video from nearby businesses in an attempt to identify the suspect.

In the meantime, McKneely and police officials are urging residents to remain vigilant even if they are not using a rideshare service.

McKneely also told reporters that sometime between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. on Feb. 18, a suspect attempted to kidnap a 13-year-old girl as she was walking to a bus stop off of Sherwood Forest Boulevard on Baylor Drive.

Authorities are asking anyone with any information about either case to call BRPD at 225-389-2000 or Crime Stoppers 225-344-7867.

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