Uber driver hopes teen in violent carjacking gets more than slap on wrist

Driver fears suspect will get slap on wrist for a serious crime

DeKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- 11Alive is hearing, for the first time, from a female Uber driver who says a teen carjacked her at knife point.  Now she's worried the 16-year-old will only get a slap on the wrist. 

"I pulled up and a white Caucasian, he came up," she said. "I rolled my window down and said, 'I'm here to pick up someone, what's your name?'"

An Uber driver for just two months, Niko is talking about the 16-year-old boy who got into the front seat of her SUV, Monday morning. He wanted to ride to Perimeter Mall but abruptly asked her to stop on Winters Chapel Road. He wanted a ride to Perimeter Mall but abruptly asked her to stop on Winters Chapel Road.

"I turned, he said stop and he said get the blank out," she said. "Are you robbing me. Knife to throat - calm down. I got my purse and started screaming and said help, help. And he took off, did a U-turn hitting curbs to get out."

Police caught the teenager minutes later and brought him back to the scene then called his mother.

"His mom, she walked right past me like I was nothing. Nothing," she said. "Had it been my kid, I would have stopped and apologized for what my kid did."

Since the incident, Niko hasn't returned to driving or her other job as a cashier.

"I was having fun doing my job, now that's taken from me," she said. "I had plans for this money to open my own business, see my daughter to graduate. Now we have to go by ourselves."

The 16-year-old is charged with carjacking, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon but as a juvenile. That is perhaps what disturbs Niko most.

"He should be charged like a grown man," she said. "If he gets a slap on the wrist and he's able to go home to his mom, that's not right. Nothing is right about that."

11Alive has reached out to the district attorney's office to ask how they intend to prosecute. It's up to them to decide whether to charge the juvenile as an adult.

It usually relates to the severity of the charges. Holding a knife to someone's throat and carjacking them is pretty serious.

In a written statement, Uber said it had been in contact with the drive and "grateful that she is safe after such a frightening experience."

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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