An Uber driver has been arrested for allegedly trying to kidnap passengers on Halloween night.

According to the Santa Monica Police Department, officers received a call at about 6:43 p.m. from a woman near 23rd and Santa Monica Blvd. who said her Uber driver was refusing to stop and let her out of the vehicle.

“While responding to this call, three additional 911 calls were received from multiple victims reporting similar accounts possibly involving the same vehicle and suspect. The victims involved were unharmed and reported the suspect was possibly armed with a handgun and threatened to kidnap the victims,” said the statement released by SMPD.

SMPD Lt. Saul Rodriguez said the additional victims called police after they exited the vehicle but the precise circumstances were still under investigation.

Officers located the vehicle but the driver fled from police with passengers in the car. According to SMPD, a man and woman were in the vehicle at the time of the chase but both were able to jump out of the moving vehicle and both suffered minor injuries.

Local officers chased the car with support from the Los Angeles Police Department helicopter and 35-year-oldKaled Elasyedsa Ali from Anaheim, was arrested near Montana Ave. and Bundy Drive. Ali has been booked for kidnapping and felony evading arrest. His bail has been set at $100,000.00 pending future court proceedings.

An Uber spokeswoman said the company just launched a new feature in Los Angeles that allows users to reach emergency services from the app itself. The feature provides specific location, license plate number and the make and model of the vehicle directly to the 911 operator.

She said the Santa Monica case was deeply unsettling and as soon as the company was made aware of the report, they immediately removed the suspect’s access to the platform. She said the company will provide any information to the investigating authorities for their ongoing investigation.

The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office-Airport Division Courthouse for filing consideration. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Goodwin at (310) 458-8942; or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.

 

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