MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – 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.
Officers arrested Samuel Bucevschi, 35, of Coconut Creek, on Monday accusing him of raping a woman who was incapacitated and stealing from her in her Eden Roc Hotel room.
“I don’t know how many other victims may or may not be out there,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy S Glazer said in court during the bond hearing on Tuesday.
Bucevschi used a gray 2018 Toyota RAV4 to pick up the woman about 1 a.m., on Feb. 10 outside of the posh hotel at 4525 Collins Ave., according to the arrest report. He gave her his phone number so she could call him to get 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 about 5:30 a.m. with two cell phones, according to detectives. About 10 a.m., the victim woke up naked in her room — her phone and $500 in cash were gone, and her Lyft account had nearly $300 in unauthorized charges from Bucevschi, police said.
An officer met with the victim at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s rape treatment center and set out to search for Bucevschi. When detectives questioned him, he admitted he was the man in the surveillance video, but he denied having raped the victim and refused to provide a DNA sample, police said.
Records show he remained at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Tuesday afternoon when Lyft released a statement reporting his access to the app was removed and the company was cooperating with law enforcement.
“These rideshare operators like Lyft have to do a better job at screening these drivers. There need to be more safeguards in place,” said Officer Ernesto Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department.
Bucevschi is facing charges of grand theft, three counts of credit card fraud, and sexual battery of a physically incapacitated victim. Glazer set his bond at $520,000 and ordered him to stay away from the victim.
“Safety is fundamental to Lyft. What is being described is horrifying and the driver’s access to Lyft has been permanently removed. We have reached out to the rider to offer our support and reached out to law enforcement to offer our assistance with their investigation.”
Read the arrest form’s narrative
4:30 p.m. report
Related report on another Lyft driver
Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editors Aura Martinez and Guadalupe Monarrez contributed to this report.