JEFFERSON PARISH, La. — A 30-year-old man, who was working as a Lyft driver, was arrested after kidnapping and raping a woman in Jefferson Parish.
According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the incident was initially reported to NOPD on Jan. 24, and the JP sheriff’s office was notified of the incident on Feb. 1 after it was discovered a rape occurred within Jefferson Parish limits.
According to the Sheriff Joe Lopinto a friend of the victim called for a Lyft to take her home after drinking around 10 p.m. on Jan. 23. Yousef Hamed, 30, was the driver that responded to a home in the Bywater to pick her up. Hamed was supposed to bring the woman to her home just a few blocks away, but Hamed took her to his home in the 2200 block of Manhattan Boulevard in Harvey.
Hamed asked the woman to enter his apartment and while there, Hamed raped her and then brought her back to the Bywater area to drop her off, the sheriff’s office says.
Sheriff Lopinto said the woman did not have her phone on her during the Lyft ride or the incident.
The woman was initially unsure of where the rape took place due to her state of intoxication, according to the sheriff’s office, however through the investigation by NOPD, Lyft was contacted, and records were provided that indicated the rape most likely took place on Manhattan Boulevard.
After Hamed was found, he was arrested on Feb. 5. He told deputies the sexual encounter he had with the victim was consensual. He also stated the victim acted in a “childish” manner and admitted she was intoxicated during the incident, the sheriff’s office says.
According to Sheriff Lopinto, Hamed did not have any prior arrests.
Lyft issued a statement to WWL-TV regarding the incident:
"These allegations are horrific. The safety of our community is our top priority, and we have no tolerance for this behavior on our platform. We have deactivated the driver and reached out to extend our support to the passenger. We have also been in touch with law enforcement, and stand ready to assist with their investigation."
Hamed is still being held at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.