PA - Richard Lomotey, 36, Uber Driver/Teaches at Penn State Arrested Kidnapping 2 Women 11 May 2019

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by PastTense, May 13, 2019.

  1. CCJD

    CCJD Well-Known Member

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    Good question! Might depend on the carrier. I know when I wanted to switch my old flip phone to a newer, better flip phone, my carrier said that I'd have to have a new sim card for the new one. But the phone # would be terminated on the old one, i.e. two phones couldn't have the same phone number.
     
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  2. JaneEyre

    JaneEyre Well-Known Member

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    Not any time I’ve switched phones. I don’t know. This whole thing is very bizarre.
     
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  3. scriabina

    scriabina Well-Known Member

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    The thing I find very unusual is that he is an assistant professor moonlighting as an Uber driver! Why would he do that? If he's an assistant professor at his young age, he is likely tenure track. That requires tons of work and research on top of teaching. Tenure track professors have to work nonstop. There's no way he'd have time to drive Ubers on the side, especially considering he has a wife and children.

    Of course, if he actually is just an adjunct or a visiting assistant prof, then it would make more sense that he'd drive an Uber. Adjuncts and VAPs are treated like garbage and make little money, but in some ways are less busy because they don't need to be battling for tenure, attending faculty meetings/committees, or scrambling to get publications, etc. Driving Uber as an adjunct or VAP seems believable.

    Bottom line: I would be very interested in knowing what his actual position at the university was. If he is tenure track and driving an Uber then I find that highly suspicious and indicative of someone with sinister ulterior motives.
     
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  4. scriabina

    scriabina Well-Known Member

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    I think it's just poor writing. I read it to mean that she lost her phone a week ago while jumping from the car, but has since retrieved it. Otherwise it makes absolutely no sense.
     
  5. JaneEyre

    JaneEyre Well-Known Member

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    Tenure track is not the norm it used to be, and many assistant professors earn squat. So this doesn’t surprise me.
     
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  6. scriabina

    scriabina Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the field and institution, some may not be paid very well. But they are still over-worked and extremely busy and wouldn't have time to be an Uber driver on the side. Plus, computer science professors are some of the best-paid. I highly doubt he was making so little that he needed to resort to Uber. If he was driving Uber it's more likely he was doing it to hit on women (and/or worse as the case may be) than to make additional cash. JMO.
     
  7. CCJD

    CCJD Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  8. apricotpeach

    apricotpeach Member

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    I guess employees at Penn State Beaver County aren't considered state employees? Salaries of Pennsylvania state employees should be posted here: Employee Salaries . I tried searching for this professor (and some of the other names I saw on the Penn State Beaver site) but I couldn't find them.
     
  9. CCJD

    CCJD Well-Known Member

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    They are Penn State University employees, not state employees. Like Pitt (University of Pittsburgh) employees are employed by the University, not Pittsburgh.
     
  10. JaneEyre

    JaneEyre Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know what the cost of living is there, if his spouse works or not, and if they have any dependents or debt - but 66K might not be enough without extra income depending on their circumstances.

    ETA - thank you for finding that.
     
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  11. scriabina

    scriabina Well-Known Member

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    Cost of living is below average, mostly. Housing is especially affordable. Could get a nice house on that salary.
    Beaver County, Pennsylvania Cost of Living

    As a child I lived not too far from Beaver County -- my mom was a professor at another Penn State college. She was a single mom in her thirties at the time and we had a decently comfortable middle class living. We marveled at how cheap the houses were around there.

    At first I thought the Uber "kidnapping" was probably a big misunderstanding. Maybe there was a slight language barrier. But then I saw that he got his MS and PhD from University of Saskatchewan so he has been in an English-speaking country for at least 10 years if not more. Of note, he is still listed on the Penn State Beaver's faculty page: Richard Lomotey

    Either he/his family has huge debts, or he was on the prowl.
    I agree he sounded believable in the video, but in the end when they showed him walking with his lawyer, he had a big smile on his face which I found pretty odd considering the circumstances.

    I certainly hope it was a misunderstanding and that we find out more info soon.
     
  12. apricotpeach

    apricotpeach Member

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    Interestingly, the Penn State University employment site lists "State Employment Retirement System (SERS)" as one of its benefits for employees. So I guess the employees count as state employees for retirement purposes, but not for salary disclosure?

    Sometimes employees at public universities are considered state employees, even if the university is the employer. For example, the salaries for California University of Pennsylvania are listed in the database. I'm probably also confusing "state employee" with "public employee" which may not be the same thing.
     
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