Uber driver charged with 5 felony counts after kidnappings, police pursuit in Santa Monica, DA says

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Saturday, November 3, 2018
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An Uber driver was arrested in Santa Monica, accused of trying to kidnap a customer, then leading police on a chase during which two other passengers jumped from the moving vehicle to escape.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- Charges were filed Friday against an Uber driver who allegedly kidnapped four passengers on Halloween and led Santa Monica police on a brief pursuit, prosecutors said.

Khaled Elsayedsa Ali, 35, was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office with five felonies: four counts of kidnapping and one count of fleeing a pursuing peace officer's motor vehicle while driving recklessly, according to a news release.

The Garden Grove resident is accused of picking up a man who requested a ride, but driving in the opposite direction and refusing to let him leave until the man jumped out of the car.

"The defendant then allegedly picked up a woman requesting a ride and also drove away from her destination until she also jumped out of the vehicle," the D.A.'s statement said. "Ali is charged with then picking up two passengers and refusing to let them leave as he led police on a pursuit through Santa Monica. Both victims reportedly jumped out of the vehicle" before police apprehended the suspect.

Bail for Ali was set at $475,000. His arraignment, originally scheduled for Friday, was postponed to Monday.

He faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 23 years in state prison if convicted.