A Sacramento Uber driver is receiving praise for rescuing a teenager from a world of child sex trafficking. Per NBC News, it is the Sacramento Uber driver’s quick thinking and attentive listening skills that allowed him to rescue the teenager.
It was on a Monday when Keith Avila, the Sacramento Uber driver, was working a shift when he picked up a fare which included two women and a teenager. The Sacramento Uber driver drove the two women and the teenager to a Holiday Inn located nearby.
While the Uber driver was driving the women and the teenager to the hotel, he overheard the women discussing their plans. According to the Uber driver, the women were talking with confidence and did not seem to care whether or not he was listening to them. The driver from Sacramento listened to the women discuss their plans to deliver the teenager to a John and to pick up money from him.
“She starts coaching and saying, ‘OK when we get there the first thing you’re gonna do is give the guy a hug and you’re gonna ask if he has any weapons.'”
Per ABC 10, the Sacramento Uber driver claimed he was not worried about the situation and was just focused on how he was going to help rescue the teenager. Acting quickly, the Uber driver called the police after dropping the two women and the teenager off at the hotel. He explained to the cops on the phone that he had just witnessed a case of child sex trafficking.
Shortly after receiving the phone call, the Elk Grove police arrived at the scene. Once the cops arrived and were able to sort things out, three arrests were made, including 25-year-old Destiny Pettway and 31-year-old Maria Westley, who were allegedly committing sex trafficking of a child at the hotel, and 20-year-old Disney Vang, who was the alleged “John” the two women were delivering the teenager to.
The two women the Sacramento Uber driver overheard in his vehicle were charged with pimping and pandering. Both women are being held on a $500,000 bond. Disney Vang was also arrested under the suspicion that he intended to have sex with a minor. He, however, was released the following day.
The teenager, who is just 16 years old, had run away and was reported missing. While it is unclear how she ended up mixed into the child sex trafficking business, she is now safe.
“This is very serious,” said Chris Trim, Elk Grove Police Department.
“You have a 16-year-old that is being manipulated by these two individuals to perform sex acts.”
While most would agree what the Sacramento Uber driver did to rescue the teenager from child sex trafficking was more than enough, this Uber driver was not done with his good deeds. He decided he wanted to use what had happened to him as an opportunity to raise awareness about child sex trafficking. This Uber driver believed if more people would pay attention to the world around them, more children could be rescued from the world of child sex trafficking.
In an effort to spread awareness, the Sacramento Uber driver shared his story on Facebook live. His story and his effort to rescue the teenager from a world of child sex trafficking has since gone viral.
Per the National Human Trafficking Hotline, it is not surprising to learn this teenager got mixed up in the world of child sex trafficking. Statistically, children and teenagers who run away are at a much higher risk of becoming victims of child sex trafficking when compared to children and teenagers who do not run away. Experts believe it is because these runaways lack support and run to unfamiliar locations that result in them becoming a high risk.
Uber has reached out to their driver from Sacramento with a statement of praise for his actions.
“Maintaining the platform as a safe and comfortable place for both riders and driver partners is very important to us, and any incident that disrupts that experience for either party is one we take very seriously.”
If you were in this Uber driver’s shoes, would you have done something to rescue the girl as well? Share your thoughts on this story in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Elk Grove Police Department]