Authorities Monday announced the arrest of a 46-year-old Uber driver who allegedly drove an unconscious passenger to a North Hollywood motel and sexually assaulted her over the weekend.
The alleged sexual assault occurred in the early morning hours on June 23. Detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide division say Alaric Spence picked up a 24-year-old female passenger in downtown Los Angeles. At some point during the ride, the victim fell unconscious possibly due to drinking, police said.
The suspect then drove the woman to a motel on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, carried the unconscious woman inside, sexually assaulted her and left.
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When she woke up the next morning, she did not recognize her surroundings, and called police.
Spence was arrested Friday evening for kidnap to commit sexual assault. He has five previous felony convictions related to possession and sale of narcotics in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and as far north as Sacramento.
Spence's former roommate told NBC4 she was aware of his criminal past, but she didn't see him as a threat and described him as a "gentle soul."
"I was comfortable with him around my daughter," she said. "he was never disrespectful."
He has been an Uber driver for the past six months and the LAPD believes there may be other victims.
"It doesn't seem feasible that this would be the first time, when you take an individual like this," LAPD Robbery-Homicide Capt. William Hayes said. He went on to describe the sexual assault as "brazen."
Hayes added that surveillance video shows the suspect carry the passed out victim from his car to the motel room.
Spence is described as a 46-year-old black male. He is approximately 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs approximately 225 pounds.
His vehicle is described as 2015 four-door silver Nissan Sentra with the California license plate number 7XUX293. The car has an Uber sticker in the front windshield.
Spence is being held on $1 million bail and the case is currently being presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office for filing consideration.
A spokesman for the ride-hailing company Uber released the following statement to NBC4: "No person should ever have to experience the violent act that has been reported to police. We are working with the Los Angeles Police Department to fully support their investigation, and the driver has been banned from the Uber app."
NBC4's Adrian Arambulo contributed to this report.