Being an Uber driver can probably be a pretty stressful job — with some pretty stressful passengers — but one driver recently went above and beyond for a customer.
Keith Avila was working when he was requested to pick up Destiny Pettway, Maria Westly, and a 16-year-old girl. They’d booked an Uber to take them to a hotel in California, US.
Keeping an eye on the three girls in his rear-view mirror, Keith could immediately sense things weren’t okay, and he said the conversation they were having tipped him off.
“They started talking, saying everything that was going. Like, what they were doing, child sex trafficking.”
Keith described how one of the older women said to the 16-year-old girl, “You’re gonna hug them, you’re gonna pat them down, make sure they don’t have no weapons … Get the donation first. Before you go in and do anything, get the donation first.”
After dropping the three off at the hotel, Keith immediately called the cops, who arrived on scene very quickly.
Keith described how heartbreaking it was to see the teenager being subjected to this, saying: “I looked at [the 16-year-old] in the eyes. She had this face of innocence.”
The two older women, Pettway and Westly, were arrested for a number of charges including pimping and pandering. A further suspect from the hotel, was arrested for alleged sex with a minor.
The authorities praised Keith for his timely action.
“He could’ve said nothing, went on his way, collected his fare,” said Officer Chris Trim, “And then that victim could’ve been victimized again by who knows how many people.”
But Keith insisted getting involved was a no-brainer.
“Honestly, I didn’t think about it. They said what they said, and it’s one of those things you just do,” he said, “I can’t just drive away, of course not. That’s not even an option.”