A phony Uber driver dragged a 65-year-old Palisades Park woman with his car, injuring her, after driving her home from Newark Airport, said authorities who arrested him Friday.
The victim had just gotten off a plane on Aug. 7 when Wilson Gomez approached her at the airport carrying an Uber sign, police said.
She accepted the offer even though she hadn't booked a ride with him through the popular ridesharing app, Capt. Anthony Muccio said.
After negotiating a fare on the way to Palisades Park, the woman told police, she began to suspect something was up.
So she called her son on her cellphone.
Gomez became irate and ordered her out of the car, then tried to drive off with her luggage, according to a police report of the incident.
He dragged her a short distance before the woman fell, injuring her face, teeth and both arms and knees, it says.
Gomez then stopped, threw the victim's belongings into the street and fled, it says.
The woman was treated for her injuries at Holy Name Medical Center.
Meanwhile, Palisades Park police checked with their Port Authority police colleagues, who found video surveillance that showed the woman getting into Gomez's car.
A partial license plate led to the identification of the car -- and, eventually, to Gomez.
Palisades Park police secured a warrant and contacted Gomez, 37, of New York City, who surrendered.
He remained held Friday in the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing on charges of assault by auto, aggravated assault, leaving an endangered victim and robbery.
Muccio thanked the PAPD.
He also urged residents to be aware of the growing number of fake ride service drivers picking up unsuspecting passengers -- not only at airports but around town.
"We urge citizens to never get into a car with an unknown driver," the captain said. "It's not worth the risk.
"ALWAYS confirm the driver's information first."
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