An Uber driver working his shift in Sacramento, Calif. ended up saving a 16-year-old girl from child sex trafficking on Dec. 26, NBC Latino reported.
Keith Avila, 34, said he picked up three passengers, two women and a teen, to drop them off a Holiday Inn. On the way there, the passengers began talking about delivering the girl to “John” and getting money from him, NBC reported.
After he got to the hotel, Avila drove away and then called the police. Authorities rushed to the scene, Avila said in a Facebook Live video as police were in front on the Holiday Inn.
His video, which had more than 128,000 views as of Thursday, says, “I just caught a group Child Sex Trafficking ring!!! No joke!!!”
In the clip, Avila gave more details on the situation.
“This girl looked like she was 12 years old,” he said. “Can you believe that?”
Avila, who said he is also a quinceañera photographer and is a married father of young boy, said there was no question in his mind that he had to help the victim.
“I was like, there’s no way,” he said. “I can’t just drive away. Of course not. It’s not even an option.”
In his post, Avila said the female pimps “were describing what they were going to do when they get there,” and instructing the victim to “check for guns, get the money before you start touching up on the guy.”
Police arrested Destiny Pettway, 25, and Maria Westley, 31, when they arrived at the scene and found the teen with Disney Vang, 20, in a hotel room, according to NBC Latino.
Pettaway and Westley were charged with pimping and pandering, and their bail was set to $500,000. Vang was arrested on suspicions of sexual activity with a minor, and was later released.
The teen, who is a runaway, is now staying with an “alternative housing situation” until her parents or guardians are found.
Uber’s Safety Team contacted Avila over the phone to congratulate him for saving the victim, adding that the three adults involved in the incident are banned from the hail-riding service.
Uber also sent Avila an email saying the company appreciated his “professionalism in a difficult situation.”
“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,” added Uber.