Uber driver arrested on suspicion of attempted kidnappings

- Authorities have identified the Uber driver who was jailed Thursday morning after allegedly threatening to kidnap several customers in Santa Monica.

Police received a 911 call about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday from a woman in the area of 23rd Street and Santa Monica Boulevard stating that Uber driver Khaled Elsayedsa  Ali, 35, from Anaheim, refused to stop and let her out of the vehicle, according to a statement from the Santa Monica Police Department.

As officers were responding, three additional 911 calls were received from multiple victims reporting similar incidents possibly involving the same suspect and vehicle, the statement said. Each reported the suspect may be armed with a gun and threatened to kidnap them.

Officers located the vehicle and attempted to stop the driver, but the driver fled with two victims in the car--a male and female--and led officers on a pursuit in a busy upscale neighborhood that prompted an assistance request for the Los Angeles Police Department Air Support, Lt. Saul Rodriguez of the Santa Monica Police Department said.

The pursuit ended in the area of Montana Avenue and Bundy Drive.

During the pursuit, both passengers were able to jump out of the moving vehicle, suffering minor injuries, Rodriguez said. The Santa Monica Fire Department Paramedics responded to the scene and treated the victims for scrapes and bruises.

Ali was booked on suspicion of kidnapping and felony evading arrest, and his bail was set at $100,000, according to Rodriguez.

The incident occurred on the same day officials in Los Angeles announced that Uber drivers or riders who use the company's in-app emergency button will have key details of their trip automatically sent to 911 dispatchers in the Los Angeles Police Department's Communications Division.

That feature is not yet available for customers in Santa Monica.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Goodwin at (310) 458-8942; or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.

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