DPS cautions students after sexual battery incident

The Department of Public Safety issued a sexual battery alert Monday, informing students to take precaution when using ride sharing apps like Lyft and Uber.

The crime alert comes after a student reported being sexually harassed by her driver at 1:45 a.m. on Oct. 28.

The student requested a ride from the 901 Bar and Grill on Figueroa Street and entered the passenger seat of what she believed to be her ride share car, according to the alert.

The alert said the student yelled at the driver, who pulled over and let her out of the car at 27th Street.

The DPS assistant chief David Carlisle said the case is currently under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department with assistance from DPS. He said that anyone who witnessed the event or has had a similar experience should contact DPS.

Carlisle said students should take precautions when using rideshare applications, such as riding with friends when possible. Students should also verify that the vehicle they enter is the one listed on the app and that their driver matches with the photograph, he said.

“Most ride services, as we all know, are legitimate,” Carlisle said. “It is always a good idea to be safe and probably the best first choice is USC Campus Cruiser.”

The DPS alert stated that students can use services like Lyft’s “share your ETA” function to text their estimated time of arrival with friends and a live map to track rides. The alert also said students could call a friend and stay on the line until they reach their destination.

“Make smart choices,” Carlisle said. “If the situation doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, so one should stop and think a second time, and when in doubt stop and call DPS.”