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Faneuil Hall

Woman's Rideshare Kidnapping From Boston Was a Misunderstanding, Police Say

The woman had accidentally gotten into an Uber after her phone died, not the Lyft she'd ordered, and the driver was taking her to the place his intended passenger wanted to go, police said.

A woman's unexpected rideshare trip from downtown Boston to a gas station near the New Hampshire border early Sunday morning was not a kidnapping, as she thought, but a misunderstanding, Boston police said Monday.

No charges are being pressed in the case, police said of an incident that spurred from a dead cellphone and a language barrier.

The woman's boyfriend had called police to report the apparent kidnapping about 3 a.m., hours after the Allston woman's ordeal began, police said Sunday.

The woman, who is in her 20s, had been out with friends at the bar Paddy O's near Faneuil Hall and ordered herself a Lyft around 12:50 a.m., but her phone died before she could see which vehicle was picking her up, according to the initial police report.

A group of men pointed to a car waiting her, she told investigators later, and then was held against her will as it took her away. She managed to kick open a door of the vehicle and escape at a gas station about a half-hour north of Boston, where the driver had stopped for snacks, police said.

She flagged down another driver, who brought her back to her home in Allston. After her boyfriend called police, she told officers she hadn't been assaulted, police said Sunday.

Boston police are investigating after an Allston woman who thought she was getting into a ride-sharing service car reported that she was kidnapped near Boston's busy Faneuil Hall and taken on a half-hour drive before managing to escape near the New Hampshire border.

But police provided an update Monday morning. A spokesman said the woman had accidentally gotten into an Uber after her phone died, and the driver was taking her to the place his intended passenger wanted to go.

There was a language barrier involved as well, police said. The case is closed and no charges are being filed against anyone involved.

Lyft had deactivated their driver, the one the woman had initially called before her phone died, during the investigation. The company didn't immediately offer a statement on the new developments Monday.

The company had said that it takes all such allegations seriously and that safety is a "fundamental" concern.

Boston police shared these rideshare safety tips on Twitter Sunday:

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh had urged ride-share customers to be careful.

"Don't just randomly jump into a black SUV or a car that you think is an Uber or Lyft," Walsh said. "Be careful with that."

Cambridge Police are calling a new tool a game changer when it comes to ride-sharing safety.
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