Grab ride turns nightmare for girl, 10
Driver suspended after her parents complain that he shouted expletives at her when she was travelling alone
It was supposed to have been a routine Grab ride home from tuition classes for the 10-year-old girl.
On the evening of April 17, the Primary 5 pupil boarded a Grab car that her mother, Ms Natasha Paes, 43, had booked for her.
But instead of dropping her off at the lobby of Block 66 in a Marine Parade Road condominium, the driver tried to drop her off at Block 60.
The girl said she corrected the driver, who then drove to the basement carpark of Block 66.
Unsure, the girl called her mother, who could hear the driver shouting expletives at her daughter in the background.
Ms Paes, who was at home, then rushed down to the carpark, but the car was no longer there.
It was only after she had walked around the estate frantically that her daughter spotted her and called her from the car, which was on its way out of the estate.
The driver then stopped the car and the girl alighted, 10 minutes after she had first called her mother.
Ms Paes said: "My daughter has always taken a Grab or Uber by herself when getting home from tuition. This is the first time that such a thing has happened.
"She was so shaken by it, and it took a long time for my husband and I to console her."
MADE POLICE REPORT
The same day, they called the police hotline and made a police report. The police said they are looking into the matter.
The parents also contacted Grab to make a complaint.
Ms Paes said Grab offered a $20 goodwill voucher three days after the incident. The family rejected it.
She said Grab did not contact the family to check on her daughter's well-being.
In response to The New Paper's queries, a Grab spokesman said: "This is an isolated incident and is no way a reflection of the wider Grab driver community, most of whom work hard to serve our passengers every day."
He added: "Grab takes the safety of both our passengers and drivers seriously, and have temporarily suspended the driver in question.
"We also stand ready to support the police with investigations."
Ms Gloria James, head litigation lawyer of Gloria James-Civetta & Co, said that in view of the verbal abuse, the driver could possibly be liable for criminal intimidation under Section 503 of the Penal Code, for causing alarm to the young girl.
She added: "Considering the age of the child and his actions, he had better have a good explanation as to why he did this.
"His actions are a concern, as I know of many parents who rely on Grab drivers as 'temporary care assistance' when ferrying kids to school and back."
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now