Suspect leads officers on a chase with passengers in the car Wednesday night.
By Sam Catanzaro
Kaled Elasyedsa Ali, a 35-year old Uber driver in Santa Monica, attempted to kidnap a female passenger, and five additional victims Wednesday evening, leading police officers on a chase with passengers in the car.
On Wednesday evening around 6:43 p.m. the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) responded to a call for service near 23rd Street and Santa Monica Blvd, from a female victim saying that her Uber driver was refusing to stop and let her out of the car.
While officers were responding to this call, three additional 911 calls were received by the SMPD from multiple victims stating similar incidents. According to the Department, these reports possibly involved the same suspect and vehicle.
“All of those victims involved were able to exit the vehicle unharmed; and reported that the suspect may have been armed with a handgun and had threatened to kidnap the victims,” reads an SMPD press release.
Officers were able to locate the vehicle and attempted to stop the car. The driver, however, did not obey and fled from officers with two passengers in the car, a male and a female. A vehicle pursuit began alongside helicopter air support from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
“During the pursuit, both passengers/victims were able to jump out of the moving vehicle, suffering minor injuries,” the SMPD said.
The suspect was ultimately stopped and taken into custody near Montana Avenue and Bundy Drive.
Kaled Elasyedsa Ali, the suspect, has been arrested Kidnapping and Felony Evading Arrest. Ali remains in custody at SMPD Jail with a bail of $100,000.00 pending future court proceedings. Uber told the Santa Monica Mirror that Ali has been taken off the platform and that the company will cooperate with law enforcement authorities.
“What’s been described is deeply upsetting. As soon as we became aware of this report, we immediately removed this individual’s access to the platform,” an Uber spokeswoman said. “We will provide any information to the investigating authorities for their ongoing investigation.”
The incident occurred the same day Uber released a feature that allows users in Los Angeles to make emergency calls to the city’s emergency system from the Uber app. The feature provides specific location, license plate number and the make and model of the vehicle directly to the 911 operator.
The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office-Airport Division Courthouse for filing consideration.
SMPD Detectives responded and are currently conducting an investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Goodwin at (310) 458-8942, or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.