When Elizabeth Suarez booked a ride home from the Las Vegas Strip using Uber one night in July, she didn’t hesitate to get in the car that matched the description of her ride.
At first, things seemed normal. Her phone notified her that her ride was nearby, so she went outside to find it.
“He gestures over to me, I open the car door and I say, ‘Hi, are you here for Liz?’” she told KTNV. “And he says, ‘Yeah, get in.’”
When she got a call from the real rideshare driver a few minutes later, she said her heart sank.
“I have no idea who this guy is. I’m in trouble,” she said.
Saurez said she posted to Snapchat as a silent plea for help. She was too scared to call 911, although authorities said she should have alerted them of the situation, even if they could only listen to a one-sided conversation.
She also asked the driver if she could be dropped off sooner. He ignored her. Dark thoughts of sexual assault and homicide began to go through her mind.
“All these thoughts are going in my head. And I froze,” Suarez said.
He asked for all of her things once she accidentally left her flash on taking a photo of him. He drove faster, and on a whim, she jumped out of the moving car.
Jumping out may have saved her life, but she sustained a head injury, and broke her ankle and wrist in the process. The crime remains unsolved.
Uber has safety tips for riders that recommend checking license plate numbers and asking the driver who they are there to pick up.
“He broke some bones but he didn’t break my spirit. I’m here and I’m here to tell my story and I’m doing it to warn other girls,” said Saurez, whose friend is raising money on her behalf for Saurez’s unexpected medical costs.