Azusa Uber driver arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, sexual battery

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Friday, August 24, 2018

AZUSA, Calif. (KABC) -- An Uber driver was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery and kidnapping in Azusa Friday morning.

Around 10:07 a.m. Thursday, Azusa police responded to the 800 block of North Azusa Avenue on reports of a sexual battery.

The female victim called an Uber driver to pick her up in that area. When the driver arrived, she noticed the vehicle was different than the one the service had assigned her. The woman said she thought it was a simple mistake and got in the car.

But once inside, she realized something was wrong when the driver started asking her inappropriate questions. The driver then reached over and began inappropriately touching her.

The woman was able to fight off the driver and get out of the car. The driver then made a U-turn and sped away from the scene.

During the investigation, detectives were able to identify the driver as Luis Gerardo Pena-Ayala, 40, of Azusa. When authorities got in contact with him, he confirmed he was an Uber driver, but not the assigned driver for the original pickup.

He was arrested Friday morning in the city, authorities said. He was then booked into the Azusa Police Department jail on suspicion of kidnapping and sexual battery. His bail is set at $1 million.

Authorities want to warn anyone who uses a ride-share or transportation application to be mindful of the driver and vehicle they are assigned. If anything comes off as suspicious or the vehicle is different, you may want to contact the company for confirmation and stay out of the vehicle.