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Uber Driver Goes on a 'Possessed' Murder Spree

Jason Dalton - theregister.co.uk
It's not as if we even needed another reason to comment on the utter stupidity of this app, but here we are again; with yet another example, and a horrific one at that.

Jason Dalton, 45, had apparently undergone Uber's background checks (they clearly can't be very in-depth) which allowed him to become an unlicensed taxi driver to anyone that had downloaded the app in his area. This resulted in an erratic night of driving, mentally unstable thoughts, and finally 6 unnecessary deaths. According to the Kalamazoo sheriff there were no connections between these victims, no reason for the target on their heads other then their presence in the street and the apparent break in Dalton's mind.

A link between the app and a rise in sexual assaults and rape has been identified in the past. Are we really surprised? Were we not taught as kids to never get into a strangers car or an unmarked taxi, so just because there is now an app, why do we think its suddenly okay to do so? These people are literal strangers and do not have the safety checks put into place that a legit taxi driver does. Perhaps this may seem a little distrusting of me, or skeptical but hey, my skepticism is what keeps me alive out there, and I hate to break it to you but this world isn't all sunshine and rainbows. People will do unspeakable things to one another.

Once arrested and charged, Dalton told the authorities that the app itself was to blame, that when you plug into it you can 'actually feel the presence on you' and that on the night of his spree the icon of the app changed from it's usual red to black. He further explained that when he opened the app 'a devil head popped up onto his screen' and when he pressed the button that's when all the problems started. He felt possessed, like something was in complete control of his entire body.

Something that had a 'mission.' On that very same night at 6pm, the first shooting took place. He killed 6 and wounded two others in a rampage that covered 20km of the city. The first victim was a young woman who was standing outside an apartment block. Four hours later, he open fired at a car dealership, killing a father and his teenage son. The last and most fatal shooting was an open fire at a restaurant, killing four women and critically injuring a 14 year old girl who was shot through the head. Perhaps the most perplexing detail of this news is that he continued to pick up customers between firing at the strangers on the street.

Correlating to this, a buzzfeed article shows us leaked screen shots of an Uber customer service representative. The shots show us the words 'sexual assault' being logged a shocking 6,160 times and rape an equally revolting 5,827 times. Why has this not had more attention brought to it? Actually, I take that back, because if you search Uber under news, or more specifically 'Uber sexual assault' then countless articles come up, showing statistics, warnings and placing the real seriousness of the repercussions from using this app in an awful clarity.

Are people reading them, but choosing to ignore them? Perhaps they, like many others, take the nonchalant stance of 'well it hasn't happened to me yet' yet, or they aren't even bothering to learn about the risks involved in the services they use. Has society really become that ignorant and lazy?

      Uber has of course responded to discoveries of these statistics, stating that: 1) Riders routinely misspell 'rate' as 'rape' or use the word 'rape' in another context - Hm, I don't think that this would happen 5,827 times Uber. 2) The word 'rape' can appear within another word, particularly a name, such as Don Draper, and 3) Some complaints were from passengers who got into non-Uber cars or who were discussing the 'unsustainable' media reports of the sexual assaults.

Also, they have also introduced a new safety feature onto their app, which is an emergency number. I ask you this, though, how, pray tell will you be able to call an emergency number when a person has a gun to your head? It's there of course as a preemptive strike, to call them if you feel unsafe before an incident happens or to report any bad feelings after you reach the safety of your destination.

My final words on this travesty are; I hope this man really is an insane as he is pleading, I know it won't take away the pain from the situation but it might be easier for the victims loved ones to cope if they know that he is a very sick man who needs help and finally, you know whats coming... DON'T USE UBER. Don't use Uber alone, don't use Uber when you're all wasted and you know just get a taxi, or call a trusted friend. Is it worth risking your life?


Robyn is a self-proclaimed book nerd/punk goddess. She has always had an adoration for writing and is hoping to find her feet in this creative and intrinsically exciting career path. She may only be an intern but don't underestimate this girl. Follow her @Songbird_Robyn


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Uber Driver Goes on a 'Possessed' Murder Spree Reviewed by Robyn Tillett on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 Rating: 5

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