LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - After several drinks at a club in Hollywood, 28-year-old Carla Westlund ordered an Uber. Shortly after, a car drove up and Carla, who was intoxicated, got inside.
She says, “I thought it was my Uber. It looked like an Uber. He was parked out on the street and I just sat in the back seat.” The driver pulled away and Carla says she fell asleep. She woke up to find the driver in the backseat hitting her head against the seat.
She says she was raped.
“The more I fought him, the more hurt I was getting...and you just make that mental connection, OK, this isn’t working.
So you totally switch tactics. Its just like a survival thing," says Carla. She gave up fighting and even tried to befriend her attacker. It worked. He eventually let Carla go. She called the police and filed a report.
Luis Bolaños, who’s worked for law enforcement for many years and is the an ambassador of PAVE, an organization Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment, says people need to be extremely careful when it comes to getting into a stranger’s car.
Across the country, women and men have been victims of Uber imposters. Bolaños says, “This is something that is getting worse not better and needs more attention. There are predators who are setting up outside clubs late at night and their MO is, ‘Are you waiting for an Uber? I’m here.’ And it’s a win win for them because either you’re gonna recognize you’re not their Uber driver or you’re gonna get in.”
Bolaños says do the basics. Check the license plate number and make sure the driver matches the photo on the Uber app before you get into a car. Carla now wishes she had done that.
She’s now focused on capturing her attacker. She gave the LAPD a description of man but so far, detectives have not released a sketch.
“I want them to pretend like I’m their daughter. I want them to care about it and release the sketch so we can find him,” says Carla.
While the LAPD won’t comment on any ongoing investigations, FOX 11 News has learned detectives are planning on releasing the sketch of the suspect in the near future.
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