Sacramento Uber driver and South Valley native credited with saving teen from sex trafficking ring

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Since Keith Avila went live on Facebook, his video has been seen more than 100,000 times. It also has more than 3,000 likes, and 2,000 shares. He's also given numerous interviews to various media outlets, including Action News via FaceTime. So it's all been a bit overwhelming.

"By having it on the media and raising public awareness, if anyone even thinks about 'Hey is this OK, is this not OK?' It's not ok," Avila said.

Avila is a photographer and Uber driver in Sacramento. Monday night, he picked up a few people, but he noticed some strange behavior during the drive.

Avila said one of the women started coaching a younger-looking girl how to act when she met a man, like how to get money before touching him, and that she needed to ask him if he had any weapons.

Avila knew about human trafficking issues in Sacramento, so shortly after dropping the three off at a hotel in Elk Grove, he called police.

As police were arresting the suspects, including the man they found in the hotel room with the 16-year-old girl (who had been reported missing), Avila took to Facebook to talk about what happened.

"But there's like no way like that that's going to happen in front of me, and me not say nothing," he said during the Facebook Live recording. "There's no way, no way."

"It was just so Keith," Esther Avila, Keith's aunt, said. "It would be like something he would do, not give it a second thought, just turn around and do the right thing."

Esther Avila says her nephew stayed with her and her family in Visalia in the early 2000's. He grew up in Porterville-- she always knew he would grow up to be a great man, and as a mother of three girls, was especially affected by her nephew's heroic actions.

"It needs attention and it's not going to go away unless people step up and take action and I'm just proud of him for doing that," she said.

Uber is proud of him too-- thursday, they called him to congratulate him and give him a couple of gifts. Avila is appreciative of all the positive feedback, but says the story is about the girl-who is now safe, thanks to him.

Elk Grove Police say the two women in the car had been pimping the victim for sex acts.

The 20-year-old man in the hotel room was arrested for illegal sexual activity.
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