Los Angeles police have arrested a man they say posed as an Uber driver and picked up a woman waiting for a ride in the Westlake district area into his car. According to Police Chief Charlie Beck, 39 year old Dartanyun Smith pretended to be an Uber driver and pulled up to a woman waiting for an Uber driver. She said Yes and got into his car. However, as soon as she got in, he drove about two blocks, he choked her unconscious several times and raped her several times as well.
Fortunately for her, she fought Smith each time she was conscious, she screamed and cried which alerted neighbours in the area who thankfully called the Police.
Responding officers heard her cries coming from a dark-colored SUV, in which they said they saw a
male suspect assaulting a woman in the back seat.
“The victim was valiantly fighting the suspect,” police said in a statement. “The officers tried to open the doors of the suspect’s vehicle, but they were locked. Officers used their batons to break the vehicle’s side windows in an attempt to render aid to the victim.”
Police said the man jumped into the driver’s seat, started the engine and drove towards one of the Police officers. The officer shot at Smith but missed.
“The suspect vehicle continued to flee from the officers,” police said in their statement. “The officers pursued the vehicle but lost sight of it.”
Beck told reporters that officers found the woman standing in the street after she had been pushed out of the vehicle by Smith.
“We believed that we had a predator loose on the streets of Los Angeles,” Beck said. “We didn’t want the second crime in a series to occur.”
Police Chief Charlie Beck said on Monday that Smith was arrested over the weekend after he was tied to the “horrific” crime through DNA evidence collected from the victim, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Smith was arrested at Saturday morning, according to police booking records. He is being held on $1 million bail.