A local Uber driver charged with kidnapping says the accusations against him are not true.
"Two counts of kidnapping, two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of harassment. I was shell-shocked," he said.
That driver, Richard Lomotey, spoke exclusively with Channel 11's Rick Earle after a judge released him on his own recognizance.
Lomotey, a computer science professor at Penn State Beaver who drives for Uber on the side, picked up the two women around 1 a.m. in Homewood and was supposed to take them to Penn Hills.
Minutes later, he said, the app froze and he was forced to pull over. "By the time I pulled over, she opened the door, and she's screaming, 'Nia, run, Nia, run, Nia, run, run,'" he said.
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Both women ran off, and when Lomotey got the app working again, he resumed driving.
Eight hours later he got a call from his wife saying the police were looking for him, so he drove to the closest police station in Mount Lebanon. From there, officers reached out to other departments and learned Pittsburgh police were looking for him.
"I'm asking myself, 'Why am I here? What's going on?' Nobody would tell me anything," Lomotey said.
Fourteen hours later, he was released from jail.
When Channel 11 asked him about the allegations that he came onto the women and told them they weren't going anywhere, his response was, "That never happened."
"I'm absolutely convinced that this was just a misunderstanding and far from a criminal event," Lomotey's attorney, Joe Horowitz, said. "It may be the most out-of-character thing I've ever heard. I can't imagine the person we are talking to doing any of these things."
Lomotey is preparing for a preliminary hearing next week, at which his attorney hopes the charges will be dismissed.
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