Stephen Ellison

Lyft Driver Arrested in Sexual Battery at Emeryville Hotel

A Lyft driver was arrested in Emeryville last week after a female passenger reported a sexual battery occurred during her ride, according to Emeryville police.

Bipin Thapa, 22, of El Cerrito was arrested Thursday at an Emeryville hotel in the 5800 block Shellmound Street, where he dropped off the victim, and the investigation is ongoing, police said.

Officers responded to the hotel about 4:35 p.m. Thursday and met with the victim, who told them a Lyft driver had picked her up after she requested a ride to the hotel, police said. During the drive, the victim alleged a sexual battery occurred. Officers located Thapa, who had returned to the hotel and took him into custody.

Lyft released a statement late Tuesday, saying: "The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority and the allegations described are deeply disturbing. As soon as we were made aware of these allegations, we deactivated the driver. We have extended our support to the passenger involved and are actively assisting law enforcement in their investigation."

Anyone who has had a similar experience should contact the Emeryville Police Department at 510-596-3700.

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