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Uber driver accused of kidnapping, robbing Sarasota woman he picked up at Hard Rock Casino – WFLA


SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Halloween night time was terrifying for a Sarasota woman. Deputies say an Uber driver and a masked man kidnapped her — then pressured her to withdraw money from a number of ATMs.

On Tuesday night time, 74-year-previous Hayat Brancheau left the Hard Rock Casino and hailed an Uber. The driver, 21-year-previous Christian Noda, advised her he wanted to examine the air in his tires, so he went to a close-by fuel station.

Then, a masked man with a excessive-powered pellet gun pressured his means into the automotive, and for an hour they drove round, forcing her to withdraw cash at native ATMs.

“Very brave woman, she’s basically terrorized, kidnapped,” stated Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Larry McKinnon.

Brancheau didn’t need to converse on digital camera, however she did converse briefly on the telephone with News Channel eight.

“I wasn’t targeted, it was just random…I was scared out of my mind. I hope no one has to go through what I went through. No human being deserves that,” stated Brancheau.

The pair then dropped her off in Dover, stole $1,000 value of poker chips from her and headed towards Orlando, utilizing her debit card alongside the best way. Deputies tracked Noda down and arrested him. He has been charged with armed kidnapping and armed theft.

“Although he confessed and admitted to this plan, he refused to give us the information on the second individual,” stated McKinnon. “It’s [unfortunate] when you have these rogue employees committing these type of crimes they’re very hard to stop.”

Noda has been charged with armed kidnapping and armed theft.

Uber spokeswoman Jodi Page stated:

What’s been reported is deplorable and utterly unacceptable. This driver not has entry to the app. We’ve been working with police and can proceed to offer any info that’s useful to their investigation.”

Brancheau stated she’s not doing properly and can’t eat or sleep.

“I’m not in a good frame of mind right now, just very scared,” she stated.

Brancheau has recommendation for others: “I would ensure [an Uber driver] is not going to stop before getting in the car. They don’t let you know that before you get in.”

If you’ve any info on the second suspect, name the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.



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