RICHMOND, Virginia — An Uber driver has been charged with kidnapping after a Virginia couple live streamed their ‘nightmare’ ride on Facebook, as their driver sped through the streets of Richmond in a harrowing car chase.
John Murray and Tameka Swann said they were picked up from their home on the city’s Northside just before 8 p.m. Monday for a night out on the town. Shortly after pulling away, they said someone rear-ended the vehicle.
“I thought we were just going to pull over and they would exchange information, but the other driver pulled around us and took off,” Murray said. “I had no idea he was about to go fast and furious on us.”
Murray began streaming live on Facebook when the initial accident happened. In the video, things are calm at first. Murray and Swann are discussing the accident, and their driver hands his phone to Swann to talk to 911. But then, they start speeding up.
“The driver won’t let us out. He’s trying to catch the guy because he hit us,” Swann tells the dispatcher.
For the next four minutes, the video shows their driver run through red lights and stop signs while the couple pleads with the driver to stop.
“I got four kids I can’t be riding like this — you’ve got to let us out,” Swann says.
“I can’t let this guy go,” their driver says.
About halfway through the ordeal, the video shows the driver running through another red light, appearing to narrowly miss a bicyclist when Murray begins yelling. Then, you can hear the impact as another car hits them.
Their driver took off again.
The 911 operator can be heard telling the driver to stop the chase.
“He kept going, he kept going. That was the scariest moment of my life,” Swann told the press.
Eventually, the driver stops and lets the couple out.
In a statement to CNN, Uber said “This driver’s behavior is deeply concerning and his access to the app has been removed. We have been in contact with the rider and stand ready to support law enforcement on their investigation.”
Richmond Police have since charged Olufemi S. Olomola, 38, with two counts of abduction, reckless driving, and felony hit and run. Olomola is in custody, according to police. It is unclear if he has retained an attorney.
Murray says he and his wife were checked out by an ambulance and are still sore from the two accidents.