An eavesdropping Uber driver saved his 16-year-old passenger from her pimps, police say – Washington Post

Uber driver Keith Avila picked up a passenger who seemed like a 12-year-previous woman in a brief skirt on Monday night time. That was the first signal that one thing was off, he would say later.

Two ladies acquired into his automotive with the woman outdoors a home in Sacramento. Halfway to their vacation spot — a Holiday Inn in Elk Grove, Calif. — they requested Avila to show up the music, he stated.

Then the ladies turned to the woman. Avila listened in.

“They were describing what they were going to do when they get there: ‘Check for guns. Get the money before you start touching up on the guy,’” Avila stated on Facebook Live minutes after he dropped off the passengers, then referred to as police to report the ladies whom he suspected of prostituting the kid.

The woman was 16, not 12, Elk Grove police advised native information retailers. But Avila’s suspicions have been proper, they stated. The teen was being bought for intercourse on the Holiday Inn, and her eavesdropping Uber driver had saved her.

A 34-year-previous husband, father and quinceañera photographer by day, Avila had began driving for Uber just some weeks earlier, the Daily Beast reported. Monday’s fare made him an immediate movie star.

“The police is just right there; look at that!” Avila stated within the Facebook video, as blue lights flashed in his rear windshield.

Outside, within the lodge parking zone, police have been arresting Destiny Pettway, 25, and Maria Westley, 31, on fees of pimping and threatening a minor.

“I told police, ‘If you don’t come, I’m going to go in there myself and take pictures of these guys,’” Avila stated on Facebook. “That’s not a good life, to be under the control of another human being for the purpose of sex trafficking.”

He stated he even gave police the lodge room quantity after overhearing the woman name her john, “probably some douche-bag pervert,” he stated.

Police stated they caught Disney Vang, 20, within the lodge and “determined that [he] had been involved in unlawful sexual activity with the victim.” Vang was arrested and charged.

Avila broadcast from the arrest scene for 10 minutes on Monday, till an officer beckoned him out of his automotive to assist decide the suspected pimps out of a lineup. His video has been seen greater than 170,000 occasions since then, and the photographer-turned-Uber driver has turn into a public hero.

“He could have said nothing and gone on his way and collected his fare,” Elk Grove police spokesman Christopher Trim told Fox affiliate KTXL. “And that 16-year-old victim would have been victimized by who knows how many different people.”

The woman — apparently a runaway — was taken “to an alternative housing location,” in accordance with the authorities.

“She was reunited with her family,” Avila told the Daily Beast. “I felt kind of good about that.”


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