A Sacramento Uber driver is being credited for helping save a 16-year-old girl from child sex trafficking.
Ride-hailing services like Uber have raised safety concerns for many, with some users reporting sexual harassment or assault at the hands of a driver or taking issue with the app's abilities to track its riders' locations and store information.
The local ABC News affiliate reported that three people were arrested for sex trafficking by the Elk Grove California police after Avila reported the incident.
Avila's call enabled police to speed to the scene where they arrested the two older women, identified as Destiny Pettway, 25, and Maria Westley, 31.
"The young girl was sitting on the passenger and wearing a really short skirt and looked really young". And they just started talking right in front of me like if I wasn't listening, I don't know. Once he dropped them off, Avila drove to a safe area nearby, called police, and then went on Facebook Live to explain what had just happened in his auto. I can't just drive away. "It's not even an option", he said. The girl sat beside him in the front seat while the women in the back openly spoke of selling the girl at a Holiday Inn in Sacramento.
He also told police what room number the women had planned to meet the men at, allowing officers to apprehend the man involved in the illicit activity.
Pettway and Westley were both arrested and charged with pimping and pandering. Authorities are now trying to locate her parents or guardians, and until then, she will reportedly remain in an "alternative housing situation". Uber thanked Avila for his quick thinking. That's when he suspected that he had found himself as a witness to a sex trafficking operation.
The driver said in the video that the women were, "describing what they were going to do when they get there". "We appreciate your professionalism in a hard situation".