Lyft Driver Accused of Raping Passenger in Van Nuys, Police Seek More Possible Victims

The passenger says she was assaulted after the driver picked her up for a ride home from a Van Nuys bar

Police are seeking additional possible victims of a 37-year-old ride share driver arrested for allegedly raping a woman he drove home from a Van Nuys pub.

The woman summoned a Lyft driver to take her home from the bar about 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

"When they arrived in the area of the victim's residence and prior to her exiting the suspect's vehicle, she was sexually assaulted," police said. "The victim reported the incident to officers of the Los Angeles Police Department and detectives from Van Nuys Division initiated the investigation."

Detectives identified the suspect as Octavio Alvarez Gomez.

"A surveillance was conducted and the suspect was apprehended while continuing his work as a Lyft driver," police said.

Gomez was arrested and booked on suspicion of kidnapping with the intent to commit a sexual assault, rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object and felony sexual battery. Gomez's bail was set at $2.225 million, police said.

Lyft released the following statement: "The allegations described are truly horrific and we have reached out to the passenger to extend our full support. From day one, the safety of our community has been our number one priority. As soon as we received this information we deactivated the driver and we stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation."

Anyone who may have been victimized by Gomez, who also worked as an Uber driver, was urged to contact the LAPD's Van Nuys Station at (818) 374- 9500. After-hours or weekend calls should be directed to (877) LAPD-24-7. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS or at

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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