Boston rideshare driver arrested after locking woman inside car

Ridesharing stock photo
Ridesharing stock photo

BOSTON, MA – A Boston area rideshare operator was arrested and charged with kidnapping after locking his female passenger in the backseat of his car.

Boston police reported that on Saturday, members of the Acton Police Department located and arrested Kamal Essalak, 47, of Acton, in the area of 7323 Avalon Drive in Acton.

“Officers assigned to District D-14 (Brighton) then responded to take custody of the suspect who was transported back to the station for booking,” the department said. “At the time of his arrest, the suspect was wanted on an outstanding warrant out of Boston Municipal Court on a charge of Kidnapping.”

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Police said the arrest warrant had been sought by detectives following an investigation into an incident that occurred at about 8:32 PM on Thursday, March 18, 2021, in the area of 1139 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. During that incident, officers responded to take a report from an adult female victim who stated that she had requested a ride via a common online ridesharing service that was being operated by the suspect.

“When the victim got into the vehicle, she noted that the suspect/operator was behaving strangely and requested to be dropped off and let out of the vehicle,” detectives said. “When the suspect stopped the car, the female attempted to open the door but found that the child safety locks had been enabled on both rear doors, making her egress impossible and trapping her inside the vehicle.”

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As the victim began to scream and bang on the glass in an attempt to draw attention to the unfolding situation, the suspect began to climb into the rear passenger area of the vehicle, laughing periodically.

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The victim was able to quickly slide around the suspect, into the driver’s seat at which time she was able to unlock the door and exit the vehicle, making her way to safety.

Essalak is expected to be arraigned in Brighton District Court.In addition to following the important Safety Tips posted on, the Boston Police Department would like to advise anyone utilizing these common ridesharing services to take an extra moment upon entering the vehicle they have requested to see if the child safety door locks have been enabled.

On most modern cars and SUVs, these safety locks are located on the inside panel of the rear doors, below wherever the door latch mechanism is located. They are usually quite small and made of dark-colored or black plastic making them difficult to see under darkened conditions.

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