Uber Driver in Azusa Arrested on Suspicion of Sexual Battery, Kidnapping: Police

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The area of Azusa where an Uber driver is accused of inappropriately touching a passenger not assigned to him, on Aug. 23, 2018, is seen here. (Credit: Google Maps)

The area of Azusa where an Uber driver is accused of inappropriately touching a passenger not assigned to him, on Aug. 23, 2018, is seen here. (Credit: Google Maps)

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An Uber driver accused of sexual battery after picking up an Uber passenger who was not assigned to him and then touching her inappropriately was arrested on Friday, according to police.

Luis Gerardo Pena-Ayala,  40, is the suspect who police believe picked up a woman just after 10 a.m. on Thursday before allegedly sexually battering her.

That morning, the woman had called an Uber driver to a location in the 800 block of North Azusa Avenue, police said. When the driver got there, she noticed the vehicle was different from the one assigned to her but just figured it was a misunderstanding and got in anyway, according to police.

She then went inside the vehicle but “realized something was wrong” once the driver started to ask her “inappropriate questions,” police said in a news release. After that, the driver reached over and “began inappropriately touching” her, police officials added.

Azusa police did not go into further details about those allegations in a news release, but said the woman managed to fight off the driver.

She then got out of the vehicle and it made a U-turn before speeding off, police said.

Investigators later identified Pena-Ayala, an Azusa resident, as the suspect. While authorities confirmed he actually is an Uber driver, they learned that he was not the driver assigned to the victim.

He was arrested Friday morning and was booked into the Azusa Police Department jail on suspicion of kidnapping and sexual battery. His bail is set at $1 million.

No other details about the case were released by police.

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