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Santa Monica Police Arrest Uber Driver for Kidnapping Passengers


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November 1, 2018 -- An Uber driver was arrested in Santa Monica Wednesday evening after leading police on a chase with two victims he had kipnapped in the vehicle, Santa Monica police said.

The suspect -- identified as 35-year-old Kaled Elasyedsa Ali from Anaheim -- was booked for kidnapping and evading arrest, police said.

Kaaled Elasyeda Ali The incident began when a passenger called 9-1-1 to report the driver was refusing to stop and let her out in the vicinity of 23rd Street and Santa Monica Boulevard.

"While responding to this call, three additional 9-1-1 calls were received reporting similar accounts of an Uber driver, possibly involving the same vehicle and suspect," said Lt. Saul Rodriguez, the Police Department spokesman.

The victims reported that the suspect "may have been armed with a handgun and had threatened to kidnap" them, Rodriguez said.

Officers located the vehicle in the area and tried to make an enforcement stop, he said.

"The vehicle failed to stop and fled from officers, with two passengers, a male and female, inside the car," Rodriguez said.

Police pursued the vehicle and requested assistance from the Los Angeles Police Department Air Support, police said.

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"During the pursuit, both passengers/victims were able to jump out of the moving vehicle, suffering minor injuries," Rodriguez said.

The suspect was taken into custody in the area of Montana Avenue and Bundy Drive, he said.

Santa Monica Fire Department Paramedics responded to the scene and treated the victims who suffered minor injuries, scrapes and bruises.

The incident took place the day Los Angeles officials announced Uber drivers or riders who use the company's in-app emergency button would have key details of their trip automatically sent to 911 dispatchers in the Los Angeles Police Department's Communications Division, according to City News Service.

The feature is still not available for customers in Santa Monica.

Ali remains in custody at SMPD Jail with a bail of $100,000.00 pending future court proceedings, Rodriguez said.

The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office-Airport Division Courthouse for filing consideration.

Anyone with information should call Detective Goodwin at (310) 458-8942; or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.


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