Generic Crime
Alligator Staff

Police are currently searching for a Gainesville Uber driver accused of groping his passenger, a woman in her 20s.

At about noon Wednesday, the female hailed a ride using the cab-service app at Southwest 16th Avenue and was assigned 66-year-old Edwin Ricci as her driver, said Gainesville Police spokesperson Officer Ben Tobias.

The woman noticed Ricci drive in the wrong direction down a dead-end street. Tobias said when she alerted Ricci, he told her, "We are just going for a little ride."

 Ricci didn't turn the car around until he noticed the woman had been on a FaceTime video chat with her friend for the duration of the ride.

 Tobias said Ricci asked the woman if her boyfriend would be jealous, as he moved his arm to stroke her hair.

 After she pulled away, Ricci then shoved his hand down her jacket and grabbed her breast over her shirt, Tobias said.

 She then hit his arm, got out of the van and ran away.

 Police have not yet found Ricci. He is driving a beige 2008 Honda Odyssey van, with a Florida license plate 876YHP, Tobias said.

 Tobias said Uber does not generally share driver information with law enforcement without a court order.

 "Thankfully incidents like these are rare," Tobias said.

Staff Writer

David Hoffman covers crime and metro for The Alligator. A rising UF history and economics senior, the 21-year-old lives and breathes for classy Parks and Recreation references and watching live performances of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on YouTube.