Ride sharing has become increasingly popular over the past several years, but ride-sharing companies have also recently come under increased public scrutiny over the safety of their drivers. After several repeated incidents, it’s now clear that dangerous criminals have utilized ride sharing companies like Uber or Lyft to target victims.
One passenger attempting to call an Uber car on Halloween was met with her worst nightmare when the driver refused to let her out of the car. The female passenger dialed 911 at around 6:45 P.M. to alert police about her ride-share driver. At the time, the car was near 23rd street and Santa Monica Boulevard. Responding Santa Monica police attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver led them on a brief chase.
The Uber car was carrying both a male and female passenger who were forced to jump out of the moving vehicle to escape the driver. They both suffered minor injuries. Police were forced to continue trailing the speeding suspect through neighborhoods where children were trick-or-treating. The police chase came to an end when 35-year-old Kaled Elasyedsa Ali finally stopped near Montana Avenue. He was immediately apprehended and charged with kidnapping and felony evading arrest. His bail has been set at $100,000.
Santa Monica Police confirmed that three other 911 calls occurred on the same night in the same area. Each caller reported that an Uber driver was attempting to kidnap them, but thankfully everyone was able to escape safely. Investigators are working diligently to determine whether Ali was behind all the attacks or there are other drivers they need to look into.