Uber Driver Charged with Kidnapping Passengers in Santa Monica

Kaled Elasyedsa Ali. Photo: Santa Monica Police Department.

Khaled Elsayedsa Ali faces up to 23 years in state prison. 

By Sam Catanzaro

The Uber driver who was arrested for kidnapping four passengers in Santa Monica on Halloween night and leading police on a chase with victims in the car, has been charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office with four counts of kidnapping and one count of fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving recklessly. All these charges are felonies.

On October 31, Khaled Elsayedsa Ali of Gardena, allegedly picked up a male passenger in Santa Monica requesting a ride and started to drive in the opposite direction, refusing to let the passenger leave until the man jumped out of the car, prosecutors said. Then at around 6:45 p.m., Ali picked up a female passenger requesting a ride and also began to drive in the wrong direction, until the passenger jumped out of the vehicle.

This female passenger had alerted the police about the incident and after she had jumped out of the car, Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) officers found Ali and his vehicle carrying two passengers. Officers attempted to stop the car but Ali 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). Both victims reportedly jumped out of the vehicle before police eventually arrested the defendant near Montana Avenue and Bundy Drive.

“During the pursuit, both passengers/victims were able to jump out of the moving vehicle, suffering minor injuries,” the SMPD said.

Ali’s Bail is set at $475,000. If he is convicted as charged, Ali faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 23 years in state prison.

The case remains under investigation by the Santa Monica Police Department. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Goodwin at (310) 458-8942, or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.