BUFFALO, NY -- An Uber driver was allegedly assaulted and robbed in Allentown early Friday morning.
Buffalo Police say the driver reported being attacked around 3 a.m. and that the passenger he went to pick up on Allen Street punched him in the head and took off with $220. Investigators are looking at surveillance video, as they search for a suspect.
"I don't think it will be a stain; I think there is crime everywhere," said Jonathan White, the vice president of the Allentown Association.
For nearly two months, Uber and Lyft drivers have been zipping around many parts of Western New York and now an Uber driver says he was attacked in Allentown.
"I think in this case Uber is a new kind of target," White said. He also serves on the organization's crime and safety committee, and says because of Allentown's growing popularity, incidents like the Uber driver assault are bound to happen.
"Unfortunately because Allentown has become the late night destination and draws an extraordinary number of people downtown on weekends, the flip side of that is it brings an element who are looking specifically to prey on people whenever there's a large crowd; and that's what we believe we're seeing in this case," White said.
Allentown has become the home for more and more bars.
"In this block where we're standing alone 20 years ago there were five liquor licenses. Today there are 16, and so it is that proliferation of bars that have been allowed to go unchecked," White said.
White says Buffalo Police have responded -- creating a special detail over weekends. On the alleged Uber assault and robbery, police say the driver is 39 years old and that the passenger was a black male. Police say anyone with information is asked to call the police confidential tipline, that number is 716-847-2255.
Uber says it is aware of the reports of the alleged assault and will support the driver anyway it can. Uber also says while it does have information on riders, including name and bank information, they're not sure if a third party possibly robbed the driver.
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