Escondido, CA

Police arrest Uber, Lyft driver on suspicion of kidnapping forcible assault

Jeremy George Vague

Jeremy George Vague

Police have arrested a 37-year-old man, Jeremy George Vague and charged him with suspicion of kidnapping with intent to commit robbery or rape, forcible sexual penetration and assault with intent to commit a felony.

He was arraigned at the Vista Court House this past Wednesday (September 21) following his arrest two weekends back. He is being held at the Vista Detention Facility.

These charges go back to two cases involving three women aged 18 to 20 years old. The most recent case was on Friday afternoon September 16 at Palo- mar College’s San Marcos campus, where an 18-year-old female student was assaulted. The police have not released the victim’s name.

Vague, who is a Uber and Lyft driver drove his blue 2014 Chrysler Town & Country minivan to the afore mentioned campus where he then picked up the 18 year old woman who attends classes at the college to drive her to her home in Escondido.

Police allege that: “Instead of taking the women directly to her residence, Vague intentionally turned off the Uber app,” and “diverted his route and drove the victim to an alternate location where he then sexually assaulted her.”

Lt. Justin Murphy relayed this to reporters at a news conference this past Wednesday (September 21) at Escondido Police Headquarters. Murphy said Vague, “was then arrested the same evening,” by Escondido PD detectives.

This, however, wasn’t Vague’s first time on the Palomar campus. Investigators later found out that Vague “attempted to lure another (female) student on the Palomar College campus into his van” on Tuesday, September 6. “This female refused to get into the van, then contacted the Palomar College Police Department,” Murphy said. He added, “since there was no specific criminal violation during this incident, Vague was contacted and advised by police not to return to the campus.”

Lt. Murphy described another incident “the following day on Wednesday, September 7. Jeremy Vague gave a 19 year old female a ride to an address in Escondido as a driver with the driving service Lyft in the same mini-van.” Murphy continued: “Upon arrival at the intended location Jeremy Vague sexually battered the 19 year old rider and another 19 year old female who was awaiting her arrival.”

Murphy said, “Investigators believe there may be additional females in San Diego County who have not yet reported to police that they were victimized by Jeremy Vague.” Investigators are asking any other victims to call police. Murphy described Vague as “a white male adult 7ft tall 270 pounds with short brown hair,” and “has tattoos on his arms and neck” (See photo.)

Murphy said EPD had been in contact “with the driving services Uber and Lyft,” and that “Uber and Lyft have been cooperating with investigators throughout the process and are providing information requested through the legal process.” The police department was “notified that (Jeremy Vague’s) employment with Uber and Lyft have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation,” said Murphy.

Keep reading the Escondido TA for more on this developing story.

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