Uber driver wanted for allegedly assaulting 15-year-old during ride

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston police are asking for your help in finding a 49-year-old Uber driver who is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl while giving her a ride.

According to Houston police, Leonel Medina is wanted on two counts of sexual assault of a child under 17 years old.

Police said that on May 12, the teen ordered an Uber to take her to a local Family Dollar store. They said Medina picked up the girl and began driving her to the back of a neighborhood before stopping at a dead end.

That's when investigators said Medina told the girl to cancel the ride. He then got into the backseat and locked the doors as she struggled to get out, according to court documents. Medina sexually assaulted the teen, according to investigators, drove her back home and dropped her off.

The teen told investigators she didn't alert Medina when she noticed he wasn't driving to the store because she thought he was taking an alternate route.

In an interview with investigators, Medina reportedly admitted to assaulting the girl. But once a warrant was out for his arrest, authorities say he went on the run.

Medina is described as a Black man who is about 5 feet, 4 inches tall. He's said to weigh 164 pounds, has brown eyes and black hair. Anyone with information regarding Medina's whereabouts is urged to call 713-222-8477.

When ABC13 reached out to Uber for a response regarding the incident, the company issued the following statement:

"The horrific details being reported are something no one should ever have to experience. We immediately banned the driver and stand ready to work with law enforcement on their investigation."

The company also said it runs background checks on all potential drivers. The process checks MVR and criminal offenses at the local, state and federal level.

Drivers are re-screened annually, according to Uber.

In addition, the company also has a "Minor Policy," which states anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult to ride.

Uber will deactivate a rider's account if a driver, third party, or riders themselves gives reason to believe they are under 18. The account can only be reactivated if the account holder submits documentation proving that he or she is 18 or over.
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