This Uber driver was working his usual shift and the fact that he would get to save a young girl from a horrible fate never once crossed his mind.
Keith Avila picked up a teenage girl and two women who asked to be dropped to a hotel in Elk Grove, California. During the ride he heard the women — identified as 25-year-old Destiny Pettway and 31-year-old Maria Westly — openly talking about selling the girl to a “john” and kept giving the 16-year-old sex tips. They also told her to greet the man with a hug and to ask him if he had any weapons.
Avila became suspicious, not only by the conversation but also by the very short skirt the girl was wearing.
“She had a really short skirt,” Avila told KCRA. “So, you could see all her legs, and it struck me as odd because she was so young and she was dressing like that.”
“I looked at her in the eyes. She had this face of innocence, and like insecure,” he added.
So as soon as he dropped the women off at the hotel, he called the police and alerted them to the rendezvous.
Police quickly arrived at the site but not soon enough to stop the man, identified as Disney Vang, from sleeping with the girl. However, they were still able to arrest the two women on charges of pimping and pandering and charged Vang with sex with a minor. Pettway and Westly are being held on $500,000 bail while Vang posted bail on Tuesday.
The girl, who turned out to be a runaway, was placed in protective custody.
The police also praised the quick thinking of the Uber driver.
“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,” Elk Grove police Officer Chris Trim said.
When Avila, who is himself a father of a 6-year-old, was asked why he felt the need to rescue the victim, he replied:
“Honestly I didn't think about it. They said what they said, and it's one of those things that you just do,” he said.
Avila also live-streamed the incident once the police arrived.
“This girl looked like she was 12 years old,” also said in the video. “Can you believe that?”
“I was like, there’s no way,” he added. “I can’t just drive away. Of course not. It’s not even an option.”
The video has been viewed more than 158,000 times as of writing this. You can watch it above.