LAGUNA BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A 23-year-old Uber driver has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting his passenger in Orange County, police said Wednesday.
Samer Mahran, of Huntington Beach, was taken into custody on Saturday, according to police.
Around 2:30 a.m., officers said the driver picked up his passenger — a 17-year-old female who was intoxicated — in Huntington Beach.
They later responded to a report of a sexual assault, officials told KCAL9’s Michele Gile.
The suspect, who was also the victim’s Uber driver, fled the scene prior to officers’ arrival.
Detectives later identified the driver as Mahran.
The alleged victim’s family said the used an app to track the teen down when she didn’t come home right away. They became suspicious and decided to find out where she was via a finder’s app.
The family said they caught the driver in the backseat of his vehicle in Laguna Beach sexually assaulting the girl.
“He went into the backseat of the vehicle with the girl and during that time is when the sexual assault and rape occurred ,” says Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the Laguna Beach Police Department. “At this same time, witnesses came down there, confronted him. Got the victim out of the vehicle and he hopped into the front seat and fled off.”
Mahran was being held in lieu of $100,000 at the Orange County Jail. He bailed out, Gile reported.
An Uber spokeswoman wrote, “We’re devastated by what their family has gone through and our thoughts are with them. We’ll continue working with police to support the investigation and proceedings. The individual has been permanently barred from the app.”
According to Uber, Mahran went through the required background checks and passed.
Gile spoke to the suspect’s mother and sister who said he is being falsely accused.
“We can’t give you any information about it,” said his sister, “We can’t talk about it. But thank you for your time.”
Anyone with information about this case ia asked to contact the Laguna Beach Police Department at (949) 464-6671.