Like most Uber drivers, Keith Avila sees his fair share of “strange.” It’s expected by anyone who volunteers their time and transportation to strangers who need a lift. Keith never could have expected that driving people around would actually save a 16-year-old girl’s life.
“The worst thing I thought would happen when driving Uber is that I would be getting drunk passengers and I would have to handle them,” Avila told NBC. “All my life, I thought about people throwing up in the car as the worst scenario.”
But he didn’t realize just how much worse it could get…
After picking up two women and a teenage girl near Sacramento, California, Keith spent only a few minutes with the three passengers, but it didn’t take long for him to recognize something wasn’t right.
“It struck me as odd,” Keith says about the incredibly short skirt the teen girl was sporting in his passenger seat. “She was so young.”
The $8 fare brought them to a Holiday Inn nearby where he dropped off the trio. But before arriving, the two women in the back seat were giving the teen some “odd” instructions.
“When you’re hugging him, just ask—do you have any weapons, pat him down.”
They also talked openly about delivering the teen to a “John.”
Keith was alarmed by the statements. After letting the women out at the hotel, the Uber driver quickly alerted police. He captured the aftermath on Facebook live, warning others about the dangers of sex trafficking. It’s not some violent thing that’s happening in distant lands overseas. It’s happening right where we live.
Officers arrested the women, saying they had arranged for the 16-year-old girl to have sex with a man.
Sex trafficking and human trafficking is happening everywhere in THIS country. It’s modern-day slavery, and the only way we can put an end to it is by recognizing the signs, and being willing to say something when things don’t look right.