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Columbus Police urge caution when using ride-sharing services after incident near OSU

Surveillance photos show the incident happened around 1:30 Saturday morning near campus at the corner of North High Street and Lane Avenue. Police investigators said she got into a car and was sexually assaulted by someone inside. (Courtesy: Columbus Police)

Columbus Police warned anyone using a ride-sharing service to be cautious after an Ohio State student said she was sexually assaulted getting into a car she thought was her ride.

It happened around 1:30 Saturday morning near campus at the corner of North High Street and Lane Avenue. Police investigators said she got into a car and was sexually assaulted by someone inside. She was able to escape and flag down a police officer for help.

Police said people using a ride-sharing app should never ride in the front, wait inside until the ride arrives, don’t ride alone if they’re drunk, confirm the identity of the driver before getting in, don’t give your phone to the driver and don’t share any personal information. Police said riders should trust their instincts when getting into someone’s car.

Investigators said the vehicle is a newer model, white 4-door sedan, which appears to be missing a hubcap on the driver’s side rear wheel. The driver is described as an Asian male between 23 and 27 years of age. 6 feet tall, thin build, black hair with a spiked crew cut.

Students in the area said the incident is alarming.

"It's sad that people have to be so careful with something like a ride-sharing app where you hope the community, you could trust it and use it for convenience. Instead of having to walk or take the bus,” said student Cameron Murley.

Anyone with information on driver or vehicle is asked to email Detective Earl Westfall at SAU@columbuspolice.org

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