Local

Uber driver accused of showing teen sexually explicit image

PENN HILLS, Pa. — Police are searching for an Uber driver who they say showed nude pictures of himself while taking a 16-year-old girl home from work Monday night.

Investigators say Patrick Phipps was behind the wheel when he started asking the teen sexually explicit questions and showed her the photo. “You’re sick in your head for so many different reasons. You took some of my child’s innocence away from her,” the teen’s mother told Channell as a message to Phipps.

According to her mother, the teen burst out crying when she got home.

“She just bust out crying and she was shaking and I’m like ‘what’s the matter’ and she said the ‘Uber driver, he showed me his private parts,’” the mom said.

Police said Phipps picked the girl up from work and took a roundabout way to get her home. It was during this drive that police say Phipps began making sexual questions and said “I don’t know how you’re going to react to this photo.” He then showed her the nude photo and dropped her off at home.

“She said he had her on dark roads and kept stopping the car and playing on his phone, and she kept telling him you can’t drive and do your phone at the same time,” the mom said.

Once the teen was home, her mom made a report with Penn Hills police.

“I’m glad she did because a lot of times people don’t want to contact the police for things and I’m glad she did and we can get this person off the streets,” Chief Ronald Como said.

An Uber spokesperson in a statement called the driver’s behavior “abhorrent” and said his access to the app has been removed.

“I’m heartbroken. My daughter was exposed to a lot. This man didn’t have the right to do this to her, she is 16 years old,” the mom said.

Phipps has been charged with dissemination to minors and corruption of minors. There is a warrant out for his arrest.

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