A Lyft driver has been accused of forcefully abducting a teenage girl and sexually assaulting her after she approached him to borrow a phone charger, as stated by the Santa Ana Police Department in a news release on May 11. The incident took place in Santa Ana, California, in April.
According to a news release by the Santa Ana Police Department on May 11, Fredi Rojas, a 30-year-old resident of Orange, was driving slowly in Santa Ana when a 15-year-old girl approached him to ask for a cell phone charger. The police clarified that the girl was not a Lyft customer. Rojas stopped his rental car and “offered to help,” but as the teenager approached the vehicle, he forcibly forced her into the car. He then drove her to a nearby parking lot, where he sexually assaulted her while still inside the vehicle, as stated by the police. After the assault, Rojas dropped her off in a different area of the city. The incident occurred in April.
Lyft responded to the allegations against the driver by calling them “reprehensible.” The company took immediate action by revoking the driver’s access to the Lyft platform and reaching out to law enforcement to offer assistance with the investigation. Lyft also confirmed that there were no prior allegations against the driver.
Online jail records indicate that Rojas was arrested on May 10 on charges of sexual assault and kidnapping. He is currently being held on $1 million bail. Law enforcement authorities have expressed concerns that, given Rojas’s role as a Lyft driver, there may be additional victims involved.
The investigation into the case is ongoing as authorities work to gather more information and identify any other potential victims who may have encountered Rojas. This incident highlights the need for robust safety measures and thorough background checks within ride-hailing platforms to ensure the well-being of passengers. Authorities are urging anyone with relevant information to come forward and assist in the investigation.