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Uber: Driver accused of sex assault didn't get background check

"Our policies and procedures were not followed as they should have been, for which we are truly sorry," Uber Dallas General Manager Leandre Johns said.

By Doug G. Ware
A driver for web-based ride share company Uber was arrested last month after he allegedly sexually assaulted a female passenger after giving her a ride home in Dallas, Texas, officials said. Friday, Uber said the man should not have been allowed to drive and never underwent a background check. Photo: Mahathir Mohd Yasin/Shutterstock
A driver for web-based ride share company Uber was arrested last month after he allegedly sexually assaulted a female passenger after giving her a ride home in Dallas, Texas, officials said. Friday, Uber said the man should not have been allowed to drive and never underwent a background check. Photo: Mahathir Mohd Yasin/Shutterstock

DALLAS, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Web-based ride share service Uber has said a driver who stands accused of sexually assaulting a passenger last month did not undergo a background check, and never should have been allowed to drive for the company.

According to investigators, driver Talal Chammout assaulted a female passenger after giving her a ride home in Dallas on July 25. The woman contacted police the following day after she awoke to find a bump on the back of her head, the Dallas Morning News reported.

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Uber said it conducted an internal investigation and learned that Chammout first signed up to drive for the company in January 2014. Somewhere along the line, his file became marked with the words, "will not be driving."

However, for some reason the company granted him permission to drive in April, Uber Dallas General Manager Leandre Johns said.

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"Our goal has been to understand how Mr. Chammout got to use Uber, and what steps we need to take to prevent this from happening again," he said in a letter to the City of Dallas.

"In this instance, however, our policies and procedures were not followed as they should have been, for which we are truly sorry. We are determined to learn from the mistakes that were made so we can do better in the future," Johns added.

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Chammout, 56, was arrested by police last week after the sex assault was reported.

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Uber said its audit revealed that Chammout submitted a fake driver's license, which means he never underwent a background check, as is company policy.

Chammout was jailed on suspicion of sex assault but posted $250,000 bond, WFAA-TV reported.

Uber said the allegations will trigger additional safety procedures at the company, and apologized to the woman and her family.

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