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Rideshare rep says city's system is flawed following Uber driver arrest

Man arrested for allegedly assaulting woman while working for Uber

SAN ANTONIO – The arrest of Gabriel Vazquez came as a surprise in more ways than one to Regina Radulski, vice president of operations for Get Me.

“Pretty much just astonished that I was hearing it on the news rather than be contacted by SAPD,” Radulski said.

In December, the City Council approved an agreement with rideshare companies Get Me, Uber and Lyft to allow them to operate in San Antonio.

Radulski spoke before the council then in favor of requiring drivers to undergo background checks through the San Antonio Police Department.

Ultimately, council members voted to keep the fingerprint checks optional.

Vazquez was arrested January 14 in connection with an assault on a drunken female passenger in October.

SAPD was made aware of the alleged assault in October and, this month, confirmed Vazquez worked for Uber.

The company fired Vazquez in October after being made aware of the report.

Radulski says it is common for rideshare drivers to work for multiple companies at the same time.

She says Vazquez never worked for Get Me.

Lyft did not respond Wednesday to questions about whether Vazquez worked for them.

Radulski believes if drivers were required to undergo SAPD background checks, companies could be better notified when a driver faces a serious charge.

"The problem is that there is no communication process between TNC (transportation network company) operators and SAPD as it currently stands,” Radulski said.

Vazquez did not undergo SAPD’s background check.

He does not have a previous criminal history.

Still, SAPD Sgt. Jesse Salame said the information would be beneficial for the department to have on file.

"If we did have that 10-print information, it would have allowed us to have better tracking and maybe notify other companies if that was the case,” he said.

SAPD will only notify other companies once an arrest is made, not just an accusation.

Salame said better communication should go both ways.

"If companies want that, they need to be willing to share their driver records with us,” Salame said. “And they've been hesitant to do that at this point.”

"There are better processes. We didn't do good enough and we need to do better. San Antonio deserves better,” Radulski said.

On Wednesday, Get Me provided SAPD with a list of its local drivers.

Uber and Lyft have not done the same, SAPD says, so the department does not know what percentage of rideshare drivers operating in San Antonio have undergone the voluntary background check.

All three rideshare companies say they do their own employment screenings.


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