HOUSTON - An 18-year-old man appeared in court Wednesday after he was accused of abducting a Lyft driver in January.
Court documents allege Deveriq Yell had requested a ride through Lyft, a company that transports patrons for a fee, and was picked up by the victim. Yell got into the car behind the driver's seat, and the victim drove him to a remote location near Brookshire in Waller County, according to a probable cause document.
Once at the location, Yell reached over the driver's seat and grabbed the victim, demanding she get into the passenger's seat and not look at him or else he would shoot her, the report said. Once she agreed, her face was covered with a sweater, according to the document.
Once Yell was in control of the car, he drove them to a Chevron Food Mart in Brookshire, where he demanded her debit/credit card PIN and withdrew $100 of her money from the ATM inside, the report said.
Yell then told the victim to call her husband and have him meet her at the Katy Mills Mall, according to the report. Once he agreed, Yell drove the victim to her house and rooted around for items to take, including a television and cellphone, the report said.
Court documents said the driver was abducted for three hours.
Yell told the victim prior to leaving that if she reported it to police, he would shoot her; but once her husband came home, they called law enforcement immediately, according to the probable cause document.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office was notified that the victim's car had been recovered and that the suspect was detained, along with another man, according to the report.
Yell told investigators he purchased the car from another man and that the items in the car were his. He denied the kidnapping, according to the probable cause document.
The document said investigators were able to identify Yell in surveillance video during the time of the ATM transactions and while he was driving the victim's vehicle.
He has been charged with one count of aggravated kidnapping and is being held on a $100,000 bond, according to online court records.
Lyft released the following statement about the incident:
"These allegations are deeply disturbing. The safety of our community is our top priority and the behavior described is absolutely unacceptable. We deactivated the passenger as soon as this incident was reported to us and have reached out to extend our support to the driver. We have also been in touch with law enforcement and stand ready to assist with their investigation."
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