A 13-year old and a 15-year old in Washington, D.C. are facing felony murder charges after the pair allegedly held up an Uber driver with a stun gun on Tuesday, causing the driver to crash, sustaining fatal injuries as a result. According to authorities, 66-year old Mohammed Anwar, who immigrated to the United States from Pakistan in 2014, apparently tried to resist the robbery, but ended up losing his life instead of losing his vehicle and his cash.
One of the girls allegedly told Metropolitan Police officers that they both set out with at least one stun gun specifically to steal a car that day, the Washington Post said, citing court testimony from homicide unit Detective Chad Leo.
The older girl is from Fort Washington, Maryland, and the younger from Southeast DC, a local ABC affiliate reported.
Why they allegedly targeted Anwar remained unclear, but the girls got into his car at the Navy Yard Metro station as he made deliveries around 4:30 p.m., Leo said.
Anwar drove with them a short distance to Nationals Park, where witnesses and surveillance video show the dark Honda pull over and an argument and struggle ensuing between the girls and the man, the outlet reported.
Police believe Anwar had partially left the car and was wedged between the door and the driver’s seat as the teenagers allegedly put the vehicle in gear. It lurched forward with Anwar still hanging from it, officials said.
Anwar was fatally flung from the car as it turned right onto N Street SE, officials said. The car then rolled over on its side and crashed into two parked cars, officials said.
Anwar, who leaves behind an extended family, was one of at least two rideshare drivers murdered on Tuesday this week. In Chicago, 46-year old Javier Ramos was shot and killed in a carjacking attempt on the city’s west side.
Relatives said the 46-year-old rideshare driver was killed after they say investigators told them he fought back when a passenger tried to carjack him on the city’s West Side. During the attack, he was shot in the head and face.
The crime took place around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 3700-block of Douglas Avenue, investigators said.
He is survived by his 9-year-old daughter, among others.
“Every single person Javy came in contact with knew the kind of father that he was,” Ramos said. “He lived for his daughter. His joy was his daughter.”
Known as Javy to friends, his family said the entrepreneur was trying to better himself, especially after recovering from a brain aneurysm he had a few years ago.
And while a close-knit community of those who knew and loved Ramos mourn his death, they also don’t want his violent passing to be in vain.
“This could have been anyone’s brother, anyone’s son, anyone’s father, anyone’s cousin,” Hortencia Ramos said.
Anwar and Ramos were both unarmed and in compliance with the policies of Uber at the time of their murders. The rideshare company, along with competitor Lyft, both require that drivers do not carry a firearm while they’re on the clock, even if they’re licensed to do so and in their own vehicle. Violate the policy and you could lose your job, which is what happened to Cleveland, Ohio resident Cynthia Norman earlier this year after she used her legally-owned and carried firearm to defend herself against two carjackers.
If drivers don’t violate the companies’ policies, however, they could easily lose their lives. It’s telling that both Anwar and Ramos apparently tried to fight back while unarmed and lost their lives, while Cynthia Norman is alive today because she was able to fight back with a gun.
These disarmament policies on the part of rideshare companies like Uber simply have to go. I don’t really care if the company’s liability insurance would increase as a result, or if the woke scolds try to boycott Uber or Lyft if they allow drivers to be armed. The mandate that drivers be unarmed isn’t just putting drivers at risk. It’s costing them their lives.
We don’t know if either of these drivers were gun owners or concealed carry holders, but at this point, I wouldn’t drive for any rideshare or delivery company that required me to be unarmed while on the job. I would encourage every driver to get a gun, get training, get their concealed carry license (if they live in a state that requires one), and yes… I would also encourage them to violate company policy every time they get behind the wheel.
Uber won’t protect you. Lyft won’t protect you. It’s up to you to protect yourself. You can look for another job if you’re fired for carrying on the job, but your family can’t look for another you if you’re murdered by teenagers looking for a couple of bucks or a car to steal. Sadly, until these companies change their policies that are putting drivers at risk, violating the rules while obeying the law and carrying a gun for self-defense is the best option that drivers have.