Woman sexually assaulted by fake ride-share driver near college, police say

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Woman sexually assaulted by fake ride-share driver near college, police say

A woman was sexually assaulted by an armed man claiming to be a ride-share driver near the University of Delaware early Saturday, police said. Authorities are now searching for the man responsible.

The 21-year-old woman was walking on South Chapel Street near East Delaware Avenue in Newark, just a couple blocks from campus, at about 1:15 a.m. when a man pulled up, identified himself as a ride-share driver and asked if she needed a ride, according to the Newark Police Department.

The woman had not called for a ride, but got into the vehicle.

PHOTO: A 21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by a man posing as a ride-share driver in Newark, Del., on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The suspect was driving a silver GMC pickup truck.Newark Police Department
A 21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by a man posing as a ride-share driver in Newark, Del., on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The suspect was driving a silver GMC pickup truck.

After she got into the vehicle, the man drove northbound before pulling over and forcing the woman at knifepoint to perform a sex act, police said.

She exited the vehicle “after the sexual act was completed” and called 911 from a nearby residence, according to Newark police.

The woman told police the man was driving a silver, four-door GMC truck with an extended cab. Authorities later released pictures of the suspected vehicle in the area.

She was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.

PHOTO: A 21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by a man posing as a ride-share driver in Newark, Del., on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The suspect was driving a silver GMC pickup truck.Newark Police Department
A 21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by a man posing as a ride-share driver in Newark, Del., on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The suspect was driving a silver GMC pickup truck.

Police have not said whether the woman is a student at the University of Delaware. Spring semester at the university, which has about 18,000 undergraduates, does not end until May 30.

The incident is part of a trend of assaults by people posing as ride-share drivers. The problem was brought further into the national consciousness when a student at the University of South Carolina was killed after getting into what she thought was an Uber.

Samantha Josephson, a 21-year-old from New Jersey, was out drinking with friends near the campus when she got into a car she thought was the Uber she had requested. Instead, the man was posing as a driver and later killed the woman.

Nathaniel Rowland has been charged with murder and kidnapping in the case.

ABC News’ Amanda Maile contributed to this report.

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