A male suspect in northern California has been charged with allegedly raping a woman he picked up while providing a ride to the possible victim. It is reported on Star Tribune that the man is actually a driver for Lyft. Those who are unfamiliar with the company can find out more information regarding the ride-share service on the Lyft website. This business is one of the largest ride-sharing services in the nation. The on-demand transportation company functions somewhat like a taxi service where users can download the app to their smartphone and request a ride to their destination for a typically small fee. Initially, the 36-year-old man was charged with impersonating a Lyft driver.
Kate Margolis, a spokesperson for Lyft, informed journalists that the company is investigating the occurrence as well as this man's work history. Apparently, the suspected rapist, Orlando Vilchez Lazo, did, in fact, work for Lyft. Margolis stated that it is believed Lazo "fraudulently represented himself" when he applied for the job. The company has not yet made a statement as to how Lazo passed the background portion of the application process. As reporters are finding shocking, Lazo has been living in the United States illegally, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).
ICE has spoken to the San Francisco's Sheriffs Department about detaining Mr. Lazo for federal immigration custody if he will potentially to be released from jail, says the Star Tribune. However, officials believe the request from ICE may be ignored due to the sanctuary city policy inside San Francisco barring any local authorities from cooperating with some, if not most, deportation efforts. Despite this, ICE says that it plans to deport Lazo, a native of Peru, if he is released from law enforcement custody amid these charges.
Just last week this man was arrested on multiple allegations, four of which include felony rape. There was a $4.2 million bail in place for Lazo, who was scheduled to appear in court just yesterday. Federal immigration authorities are calling this suspect an alleged serial rapist accused of preying on his victims by posing as a trustworthy Lyft driver.
Lfy said Tuesday that it found no evidence that any of the rapes occurred while the suspect was on duty with the company. However, the company continues to investigate. The San Francisco district attorney's office stated Tuesday that it will also be investigating Lazo's work history moving forward. No further updates on this case have been released just yet.