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LAPD arrests phony Uber driver who sexually assaulted female passenger, struck officer as he fled

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LAPD has made an arrest in the case of a woman who became the victim, then survivor of a brutal sexual assault, by a man posing as an Uber driver.

The woman was waiting for the car service around 3:30 am near downtown LA on April 3, according to police. During a news conference about the arrest, the LAPD chief said she entered the dark SUV with “trepidation.”

Police noted — as a warning to other Uber users — that the woman let someone else make the arrangements for her so she could not verify, on her own phone app, who the driver was or what he or she was driving.

“This was a young woman who through absolutely no fault of her own was targeted and selected right off the street by a predator,” Chief Charlie Beck said.

The suspect kidnapped the woman and sexually assaulted her blocks away from where he picked her up. Residents in the area heard loud screams as the victim put up a “valiant fight,” KTLA reported.

The attacker choked her unconscious several times, and when police got to the scene along Ingraham Street, in the Westlake area, they began smashing the windows of the vehicle. The suspect fled before they could arrest him, striking one of the officers as he sped away.  The victim was found four blocks away — where she was “dumped onto the street.”

Beck said that DNA evidence from a sexual assault kit and the “scrapings from the victim’s fingernails” led to a match in a state crime database. Investigators tracked down the suspect who was later identified as Dartanyum Larmar Smith.

Smith, a known gang member with a long rap sheet, is being held on a one-million dollar bond.

 

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