Lyft driver charged with raping and robbing Miami Beach hotel guest
MIAMI BEACH, Florida. – A man appeared in Miami-Dade County court on Tuesday after detectives accused him of taking advantage of a woman while working as a Lyft driver in Miami Beach.
On Monday, officers arrested Samuel Bucevschi, 35, of Coconut Creek, accusing him of raping an incapacitated woman and stealing from her Eden Roc hotel room.
“I don’t know how many more victims may or may not be out there,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy S Glazer told the court during Tuesday’s bond hearing.
Bucevschi used a gray 2018 Toyota RAV4 to pick up the woman around 1 a.m. Feb. 10 outside the posh hotel at 4525 Collins Ave., according to the arrest report. He gave her his phone number so she could call him back to the hotel, and he dropped her off at a bar, according to the report.
Surveillance video shows Bucevschi carrying his victim into the hotel shortly after 4:35 a.m. and leaving the hotel around 5:30 a.m. with two cellphones, detectives said. Around 10 a.m., the victim woke up naked in his bedroom — his phone and $500 in cash were missing, and his Lyft account had nearly $300 in unauthorized charges from Bucevschi, police said.
An officer met the victim at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s rape treatment center and set out to find Bucevschi. When detectives questioned him, he admitted he was the man in the surveillance video, but he denied raping the victim and refused to provide a DNA sample, police said.
Records show he remained at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Tuesday afternoon when Lyft released a statement saying his access to the app had been removed and the company was cooperating with law enforcement.
“These ride-sharing operators like Lyft need to do a better job of screening these drivers. There need to be more safeguards in place,” said Constable Ernesto Rodriguez, spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department.
Bucevschi faces charges of grand larceny, three counts of credit card fraud and sexual assault of a physically incompetent victim. Glazer set his bond at $520,000 and ordered him to stay away from the victim.
Statement from Lyft
“Security is fundamental to Lyft. What is described is horrible and driver access to Lyft has been permanently removed. We contacted the motorcyclist to offer him our support and we contacted law enforcement to offer our assistance in their investigation.
Read the story of the arrest form
4:30 p.m. report
Related report about another Lyft driver
Aura Martinez and Guadalupe Monarrez, editors of Local 10’s News Assignment Office, contributed to this report.
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