Deccan Chronicle

US: Uber driver saves 16-year-old passenger from pimps

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: January 4, 2017 | Updated on: January 4, 2017

The Uber driver overheard the conversation between the passengers and alerted the police suspecting illegal activity.

Uber driver Keith Avila (Photo: Facebook/Keith Avila)

Uber driver Keith Avila (Photo: Facebook/Keith Avila)

Sacramento: Police rescued a 16-yr-old girl from pimps after an Uber driver overheard their conversation and reported them to the police on Monday. 

According to media reports, two women along with the teen got into Uber driver Keith Avila's cab on Monday night. The girl who looked like she was around 12 years old was dressed in a short skirt, making the driver suspicious. 

Avila was asked to play music louder halfway to their destination, a holiday inn in the surburbs. Becoming increasingly suspicious, the cab driver listened in to hear them instruct the girl.   

"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 was reported to have said on Facebook Live after he dropped off the passengers. The Uber driver then alerted the police, on the suspicion that the women were prostituting the teen. 

According to media reports, Elk Grove police confirmed that the teen was being pimped by the women and the Uber driver's call had saved her. 

The women -- who were arrested -- were identified to be Destiny Pettway (25) and Maria Westley (31) on charges of pimping and threatening a minor. 

The police also arrested the man whom the teen was on her way to meet at the hotel. Identifed as Disney Vang (20), he was charged by police to have been involved in unlawful sexual activity with the victim. 

A husband, father and photographer by day, Avila had recently started moonlighting as a Uber driver. He broadcasted the incident from the spot for 10 minutes through Facebook Live.  

"I told police, 'If you don't come, I'm going to go in there myself and take pictures of these guys,'" Avila was quoted saying on Facebook. "That's not a good life, to be under the control of another human being for the purpose of sex trafficking." he added. 

He said he even gave police the hotel room number after overhearing the girl call the man. His video has been seen over 265,000 times making the photographer-turned-Uber driver an overnight celebrity. 

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