Uber driver in LA charged in kidnapping with purpose of sexual assault

Police lights

LOS ANGELES (KXAN) — A 32-year-old Uber driver in Los Angeles charged with kidnapped a woman and taking her to a motel with the purpose of sexual assault is raising safety concerns for users of the ridesharing app across the country.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a valet employee of a West Hollywood nightclub asked Frederick Dencer to drive the 26-year-old woman home, who is said to have been intoxicated.

NBC Los Angeles reports, the woman then woke up at 6 a.m. lying next to Dencer, who was shirtless, on the motel bed. She told authorities she did not remember how she got there.

Uber released the following statement about the incident:

Uber became aware [yesterday] of a serious incident in Los Angeles. The facts are unknown at this stage and it’s certainly unclear that this is an Uber-related incident, as the driver in question was not logged in, connected to or operating on the platform at the time. We have reached out to authorities and will work with them to help uncover the facts. It is also our policy to immediately suspend a driver’s account following any serious allegations, which we have done. Nothing is more important to Uber than the safety of our riders.

The Huffington Post reports, however, that Dencer did have an Uber account which Uber suspended after the incident.

Los Angeles police investigations revealed the woman’s phone was dead and she did not request a ride through the Uber app herself. Dencer was paid by the valet at the club and, according to the Los Angeles Times report, the woman was “too drunk to tell Dencer where she lived.”

Dencer is currently in custody on suspicion of kidnapping for the purpose of sexual assault.

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