Kent man, 18, charged with robbing, beating Uber driver

Attack last month in Seattle

An 18-year-old Kent man faces a first-degree robbery charge for allegedly punching a Uber driver last month in Seattle in the head and face. Two other males also attacked the driver until he was unconscious and suffered a brain bleed.

The trio then left the driver laying in a Safeway parking lot, 1423 NW Market St., in the Ballard neighborhood and took his vehicle. Seattle Police found the vehicle unoccupied about 1.2 miles from the Safeway. All three males remain at large.

Nyak G. Nyak, of Kent, has been charged with first-degree robbery after Seattle Police matched a fingerprint to him from an eyeglass lens found in the vehicle. The Uber driver also identified Nyak from a photomontage, according to court documents filed Sept. 11 by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

A judge approved a $250,000 warrant for the arrest of Nyak, who is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 24. The other two suspects have not yet been identified.

The incident started at about 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 when the Uber driver was dispatched via his Uber app to a location in the 5400 block of Seaview Avenue Northwest in the Ballard area of North Seattle. The ride was booked using a female’s user profile and the ending destination was the city of Kent, according to charging documents.

When the driver reached the location, he saw two males and a female (which matched the female’s user profile photo) standing outside a car. One man from outside the car and two from inside then approached the Uber driver. All three males showed signs of intoxication and had a bottle of alcohol in their possession. After a conversation that they all needed face masks and that no alcohol was allowed inside the vehicle, the three males entered the back seat of the vehicle and the ride to Kent began.

One of the males then attempted to get the driver to go to a different location than what was booked. The driver said he couldn’t do that. The driver said he then heard the three talking about his wallet being in the console, so he pulled into the Safeway parking lot and asked them to exit his vehicle or he would call the police. One of the males then placed a semi-automatic handgun to the driver’s head and said, “Give me your money.”

The driver told police he grabbed the gun and a struggle over the weapon ensued. During the struggle a shot was fired, but nobody was hit. Another male, later identified as Nyak, then reportedly began to hit the driver in the head and face. Two of the males pulled the driver out of the car. At some point, the driver lost consciousness. Paramedics later transported him to Harborview Medical Center.

A witness saw the assault and called 911 at about 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 14. The witness saw the three males drive away after assaulting the driver.

Another witness saw the three males abandon the vehicle a mile or so away. The witness said one of the males said, “You gotta find your phone, that’s what’ll get us arrested.” The three then began tossing items from the vehicle before fleeing on foot. The driver’s two cellphones and his wallet were missing, reportedly taken during the robbery.

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