Local News

Uber driver who helped sex assault victim: 'God wanted me there'

Posted May 22, 2017 5:21 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:04 p.m. EDT

— A victim of sexual assault who was trying to escape from her attacker over the weekend in Durham was helped by an Uber driver who happened to drive by and was willing to stop and take the woman to police.

Alia Hatchett has been an Uber driver for only a couple of weeks, but she made an impact in a way she never imagined when she noticed something at a stoplight on Academy Road in Durham at about 3 a.m. Saturday.

“Once I looked up and the light was ready to turn green and I was about to hit the gas, I just saw hands just waving at me in the distance,” Hatchett said Monday. “I looked over and I just saw somebody running toward me, and they’re like, ‘Hey stop, stop, stop.’”

Uber driver who helped sex assault victim: ‘God wanted me there’

When Hatchett stopped and asked the woman what was wrong, the woman said that she had been raped by a man in the woods.

Police said the woman told them she was at a club in Durham when a stranger offered her a ride. When she agreed, he sexually assaulted her.

“I don’t know how to describe it. She was crying hysterically, and then, when I realized she didn’t have any shoes on, I realized she was in danger,” Hatchett said. “Honestly, I thought that somebody was murdered. That’s how distraught she was.”

Hatchett let the woman into her car and dialed 911. She took the woman to the first safe area she found- a shopping center parking lot off Erwin Road- and waited with her until police arrived.

Uber driver who helped sex assault victim: ‘God wanted me there’

“I just let her vent to me and cry, and I just put my head to the side and cried with her because it was really disturbing. I looked at her body, and I could see she had scratch marks all over her body,” Hatchett said.

Hatchett, who was a victim of sexual assault herself, said she knew exactly how the victim felt.

“I just feel like God wanted me there for her at that time,” she said. “I really think that I was her angel.”

No arrests have been made in the case, police said.