Uber driver in Ocean County, NJ charged with criminal sexual contact of passenger
TUCKERTON — A driver for the ride-sharing service Uber has been charged with criminal sexual contact in connection with an alleged incident during a ride over the weekend.
Ronald Yaniak, 56, of Little Egg Harbor Township, was charged on Sunday, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, and he no longer has the ability to offer rides through Uber.
On March 4, Tuckerton police received a 911 call from a female stating that she had been touched inappropriately by an Uber driver while using the service.
According to authorities, the alleged victim and three fellow passengers called for an Uber ride from Barnegat to Tuckerton. The alleged victim was sitting in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, according to an investigation.
Yaniak was identified by authorities as the driver of the subject vehicle. He was released on a summons pending a future court appearance.
“We take reports of sexual misconduct extremely seriously, and this driver’s described actions are disturbing. He no longer has access to the Uber platform, and we are standing by to assist police on their investigation," an Uber spokesperson said in an emailed statement to New Jersey 101.5.
Uber has invested heavily in technology and features designed to enhance safety of the platform, the spokesperson said. Among the features: riders and drivers can call 911 through the app.