No charges filed against Uber driver in alleged L.A. kidnapping
Prosecutors declined to file charges Wednesday against a driver with the Uber ride-sharing service after his arrest on allegations of kidnapping a drunk woman and taking her to a Van Nuys motel.
Prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence to file kidnapping or sexual assault charges against Frederick Dencer, 32, of Encino, because the woman has been unavailable to authorities, according to an L.A. County district attorney’s document.
The investigating officer was unable to get ahold of the woman, who reportedly gave police a bogus home address, according to the document. The officer apparently called her numerous times.
Dencer had been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping for the purpose of sexual assault but was released from custody at noon Wednesday.
Los Angeles police say a valet employee at a popular West Hollywood nightclub asked Dencer to drive the intoxicated woman home.
Instead, Dencer drove the 26-year-old woman to the Panorama Motel in Van Nuys, carried her into a room and spent the night with her, Lt. Paul Vernon said in a statement.
She said she woke up about 6 a.m. Monday to find Dencer, who was shirtless, lying next to her on a motel bed.
The woman did not know Dencer and could not recall how she ended up in the motel room. Dencer asked her to stay, but she left and called police from a 7-Eleven in Panorama City, Vernon said.
Officers reviewed surveillance video showing Dencer helping the woman get out of his car, holding her hand as she struggled to walk and then eventually carrying her into the motel room, he said.
The woman was reportedly too drunk to tell Dencer where she lived, so he never collected a fare from her and drove to the motel, Vernon said.
Uber officials became aware of Dencer’s arrest Tuesday and suspended his account, according to a statement issued by the company. They said they had contacted authorities and planned to work with them.
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