An Uber driver who allegedly refused to let passengers out of his vehicle was arrested on Halloween night after leading Santa Monica police on a pursuit, officials said.
The incident unfolded about 6:40 p.m. Wednesday when police received a call from a passenger in Khaled Ali’s Uber who said he wouldn’t let them out of the vehicle, Santa Monica police Lt. Saul Rodriguez said.
As officers were responding to Santa Monica Boulevard and 23rd Street, they got another call from other possible victims saying that they had experienced an incident with an Uber driver who wouldn’t let them out of the car, forcing them to jump out and escape. The victims claimed the driver was possibly armed and that he threatened to kidnap them.
Officers eventually located Ali’s vehicle and attempted to stop him, but he did not yield.
Ali led officers on a chase through a busy upscale Santa Monica neighborhood where people were out trick-or-treating, Rodriguez said.
Therese Joslin, who lives in the area, said she was concerned when the vehicle whirred by with authorities in pursuit.
“There were tons of kids, and parents just holding their kids back as the cars went flying by,” she told KTLA. “I was definitely scared. My daughter had just gone out and I could see the cars going down the alley and around.”
The driver eventually stopped near Bundy Drive and Montana Avenue and was arrested. The passengers inside Uber were not injured.
Rodriguez said no firearm was found inside the car, but police are looking into whether one was tossed out a window.
Ali was booked suspicion of kidnapping and felony evading arrest. His bail was set at $100,000.
Authorities believe Ali may have trapped and threatened passengers as many as four times on four different pick ups.
An Uber spokesperson called the case deeply unsettling and said Ali is no longer a driver on their platform.