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Fired Seattle cop, former Uber driver, investigated for unlawful imprisonment

SEATTLE - A former Seattle police officer is now under investigation for unlawful imprisonment involving a woman he gave a ride to during his new job as an Uber driver.

The Seattle Police Department fired the officer in March 2015 after he was accused of contacting women after pulling their phone numbers from police reports, even texting one woman 109 times. Chief Kathleen O'Toole sustained allegations of violating policy relating to professionalism and abuse of authority.

A search warrant filed in King County Superior Court last week details the new allegations against the former officer. KOMO News is not naming the suspect since he has not been arrested or charged.

According to the investigating detective, the alleged victim ordered an Uber on the evening of Dec. 13, 2015, for a ride to her apartment on Capitol Hill. In the documents, the victim says during the ride the suspect "was talking about his anger with women," which she says frightened her.

The victim says when they arrived at her residence, she got out of the car to smoke but the suspect told her she could smoke in the vehicle. Once inside, according to the detective, the suspect started the car and drove around the neighborhood for an hour, despite the victim's pleas to return her home, and "pointed out various locations and telling her he was a former law enforcement officer and talked about the various crimes he investigated there."

The victim told detectives when the suspect finally dropped her off, he kissed her on the lips and asked for her phone number, "stating to the effect that if she lied he would know from her Uber information," so she provided her real number.

The victim told detectives she never reported the incident "due to her feelings that things never went well when you report a police officer to another police officer from stories she had heard from TV or friends," as stated in the search warrant.

The documents go on to state over the next several months the victim received several "strange" texts from the suspect.

On April 13, the victim says she was told the suspect was able to get into the locked courtyard of her building and left a handwritten note for her to call him. The documents state this visit was caught on surveillance video. It was only after this incident that the victim reported the Dec. 13 Uber ride.

Detectives have requested records from Uber and cell phone records for the suspect and victim.\

An Uber spokesperson said the former officer is no longer working for them.

"While technology helps ensure the speed, dependability and safety of our rides, people matter most to the Uber experience -- that's why we do not tolerate harassment or abuse from drivers or riders. This individual was immediately barred from driving with Uber as soon as we learned of the alleged incident, and we have offered our assistance to law enforcement in their investigation."

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