Crime

Uber Driver Hears Passengers Talking, Calls Police (Photo)

| by Sean Kelly

An Uber driver was praised as a hero after he overheard his passengers having an alarming conversation, then dropped them off at a shocking location.

Keith Avila reportedly drove three women, one of whom was turned out to be a missing 16-year-old girl, to an Elk Grove, California, hotel, for what was ultimately determined to be a child prostitution ring.

While in the car, Avila first became concerned when she overheard one of the women coaching the 16-year-old.

"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," Avila told KXTV.

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The driver also spoke to KTRK, adding that the women were talking openly about everything they were doing with no discretion.

"They started ... saying everything that was going on. Like what they're doing, child sex trafficking," he said.

As soon as he dropped them off at a Holiday Inn hotel in Elk Grove, Avila called the police.

"This is very serious," police spokesperson Chris Trim said. "You have a 16-year-old that is being manipulated by these two individuals to perform sex acts."

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Avila said that officers were quick to respond to his call.

"Police arrived fast. They don't play. They do not play. Not when you're doing child sex trafficking," he said.

When they arrived, officers immediately arrested 25-year-old Destiny Pettway and 31-year-old Maria Westley, who had arranged the meeting for the young girl. Officers also arrested 20-year-old Disney Ving, the man with whom they arranged for the girl to meet.

Avila said he knew the victim was young, which is why he decided to step in.

"I looked at her in the eyes. She had this face of innocence, and like insecure," he said.

Trim praised Avila for his actions and applauded him for trusting his gut and getting involved instead of ignoring what was happening.

"He could've said nothing. Went on his way, collected his fare. And then that 16-year-old victim could've been victimized again by who knows how many different people over the next couple of days, weeks, months," he said.

Sources: KXTV, KTRK / Photo credit: Uber via Entrepreneur, Elk Grove Police Department via KXTV​

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