Elizabeth Suarez was left with a broken ankle, a fractured wrist, and staples in her head after she escaped from a vehicle being driven by a man who was allegedly posing as her Uber driver, according to ABC 15. Now the 27-year-old is hoping her traumatic experience can help educate others about taking proper precautions while using ridesharing apps.
Suarez ordered an Uber after a night out in mid-July with her childhood friend at Park MGM on the Las Vegas strip. She received a notification her Uber was arriving and to wait by the valet. The car, according to her Facebook post, was the same make and model listed on her app.
The driver, who had Uber stickers on his vehicle, ushered her over. Suarez tells ABC 15 that she greeted the man and said, “Hi, are you here for Liz?” to which he responded, “Yeah, get in.”
According to Suarez, the car was already on the road when she received a phone call from her real Uber driver asking where she was, as he was looking for her outside Park MGM.
“My heart sank. Because I knew I was in the wrong car,” Suarez said.
Not wanting to draw attention, she asked to be let out anywhere that was safely lit, but the man kept driving. She was afraid of how he would react if he heard her on the phone with police, so she posted on her Snapchat to alert her friends.
“I take a side profile picture of him, my flash goes off, startles him and that’s when he starts cursing: ‘Give me your wallet! Give me your phone! Give me everything you have!’” Suarez recounted.
She threw her wallet at the driver, and, as she opened the car door to leave, he began to speed up. “I just jump out without thinking,” Suarez said. Her fast action left her bruised and broken, but, ultimately, safe.
“I say that he broke some bones but he didn’t break my spirit. I’m here and I’m here to tell my story and I’m doing it to warn other girls,” Elizabeth said.
Uber encourages riders to make sure they are getting into the right vehicle by checking to make sure the license plates match. According to ABC 15, Suarez should have called 911 as well; even if she didn’t say anything into the phone to alert suspicion, operators would understand a crime was in progress.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Suarez pay for her unexpected hospital bills following the incident.
Police are currently investigating the incident as a robbery.
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