Uber Driver Accused Of Kidnapping Set Free Without Any Charges
Prosecutors did not file any charges against an off-duty Uber driver who was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a drunk woman and taking her to a Van Nuys motel.
The L.A. County District Attorney's Office told KABC they weren't able to get in touch with the 26-year-old woman for an interview. Their investigator tried several times to call the woman, but she didn't respond to any of the calls. She also gave police a fake home address.
Early Monday, the woman called police from a 7-Eleven in Panorama City and reported that she had awoken next to a shirtless stranger at the Panorama Motel and had no recollection of how she got there. She directed authorities to the motel where they found 32-year-old Frederick Dencer asleep and arrested him.
She told police that she had been bar-hopping the night before and her last stop was at Greystone Manor in West Hollywood. Authorities believe Dencer, who had at least one Uber pickup on Sunday, was outside of the nightclub when a valet may have flagged him down to drive the woman home. Uber said in a statement that Dencer was not logged into the ride-sharing app, which means it was not an official Uber pickup. The woman allegedly was too drunk to tell Dencer her home address.
Lt. Paul Vernon of the LAPD Mission Division told the L.A. Times that investigators checked out the motel surveillance video showing Dencer helping the woman get out of the car and walk to the motel and eventually carrying her to the room.
“Complainant told police she did not remember any of this," Deputy District Attorney Lisa Tanner wrote in a charge evaluation worksheet. "Once inside, the complainant suddenly awoke to find the suspect touching her breast. She told him to … stop and he complied."
LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon of Mission Division said earlier this week that Dencer let the woman leave the motel, but had asked her to stay.
Dencer had been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping for the purpose of sexual assault, but was released from jail at noon on Wednesday. Tanner said there was insufficient evidence to prove the allegations.
Uber has suspended Dencer's driving account and plan to work with authorities on the incident.