VAN NUYS (CBSLA) — A rideshare driver is behind bars, accused of raping a woman who hired him to take her home and police think there could be more victims out there.
As CBSLA’s Kandiss Crone reports, the 37-year-old ride share driver was arrested for allegedly raping a woman he drove home from a Van Nuys pub.
The woman summoned a Lyft driver to take her home about 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Detectives identified the suspect as Octavio Alvarez Gomez.
“It’s really messed up. I wish it didn’t happen,” said Brenda Monroy, who says she’s never felt uneasy about riding in an Uber or Lyft until now.
“It kinda sucks that men don’t have to take the precaution we do,” said Monroy. “Just gotta be extra careful.”
“I usually don’t let my daughter take Uber or Lyft cause I always think it’s very dangerous,” said Van Nuys resident Fernando Sanchez.
Police eventually tracked Gomez down and arrested him while he was driving for Lyft. He was booked on suspicion of kidnapping with the intent to commit a sexual assault, rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object and felony sexual battery.
He also works for Uber and investigators worry there could be more victims out there.
Riders said it’s up to both the rideshare companies and customers to make sure another trip doesn’t take a dark turn.
“Typically when I go out with my friends we text each other when we get home so that’s something people can do,” said Monroy.
Gomez’s bail was set at $2.225 million, police said.
Lyft issued a statement: “From day one, the safety of our community has been our number one priority. As soon as we received the information we deactivated the driver and we stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)