A Lyft driver in California has been accused of taking an intoxicated passenger back to his home and sexually violating her.
Tonye Kolokolo, 46, was arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment and rape in San Bruno, California on August 10 following an alleged incident that occurred earlier that morning. A 25-year-old female passenger, who remains unnamed in reports, said that she had passed out in the back of Kolokolo's rideshare and was sexually assaulted by the driver at his home. She called the police upon regaining consciousness.
The passenger said that she had used the Lyft app because she was too intoxicated to drive herself home from San Mateo.
Neighbors of Kolokolo's were stunned by the news.
"I usually stay late and I didn't notice anything off, notice anything odd," said Kolokolo's neighbor Ramu Kukkurunu to KTVU of San Francisco, California.
"It was shocking, absolutely shocking," added Brooke Phillips, another neighbor. "Knowing that they live right next door and we would not have suspected anything like that."
San Bruno Police Lt. Ryan Johansen emphasized the dangers of drinking too much in a statement.
"People need to be aware of the fact that if you are impaired beyond the point of being readily able to care for yourself than that could create circumstances you could readily be taken advantage of," Johansen said. "I think physically the victim is fine but obviously for any trauma victim, there is often a lengthy and involved healing process."
Johansen said he could not comment on how the woman escaped from Kolokolo's residence, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
Lyft has also issued a statement on the alleged attack.
"Safety is fundamental to Lyft," it said in a statement, according to NBC Bay Area. "What is being described is terrifying and the driver's access to Lyft has been permanently removed. We responded immediately and have reached out to the rider since the incident. We are working with the authorities and will continue to help in every way we can."
Police believe there are no other victims related to the situation, but an investigation is ongoing.
Kolokolo has been booked into the San Mateo County Jail. His bail has been set at $200,000. His arraignment is set for Monday.
Anyone with information related to this alleged crime or similar incidents involving Kolokolo being urged to contact police at (650) 616-7100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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