KATY TEXAS NEWS
February 21, 2019
By Natalie Cook Clark
A Houston man has been arrested for abducting a Katy Lyft driver after acting as a client. The female Lyft driver was unharmed but he took money from her bank account, burglarized her house, and stole her car. The night took the victim on a three plus hour terrifying ride.
Deveriq Yell was arrested on charges of aggravated kidnapping for the abduction of a Katy Lyft driver.
Driver Abducted in Katy
A female Katy based Lyft driver was notified of a job on the early hours of January 27. She picked up the client at 6:30 a.m. at the 2600 block of Silky Court in Katy. 19-year-old Deveriq Yell told her to take him to a remote address in Brookshire, Waller County. He then reached up from the backseat and moved her to the passenger seat taking control of the vehicle. He threatened to shoot her if she didn't do what he said.
Debit Card, House, Car All Burglarized
Yell then drove the victim to a gas station, now known to be a Chevron food mart on FM 259, and took $100 from her debit card. He then instructed her to call her husband and tell him to meet them at the parking lot of Katy Mills Mall. Instead of going to Katy Mills, Yell took the victim to her house at 24500 block of Lakecrest Village Drive. There he stole her television and cell phone. Yell left his victim and threatened to shoot her if she called the police. He then used her debit card again at a local Walmart about forty-five minutes after leaving the victim. Once her husband returned home they called 911. The entire abduction took the victim for over a three hour ride of terror.
On Tuesday authorities found Yell in the victims car with another man. The victim's items were still in the car. Deveriq Yell was arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping. He denied any dealings with the kidnapping and claimed he bought the car from the Galleria area.
Yell's bond was set at $100,000. Yell faced a separate aggravated robbery charge from a September incident but it was dismissed. He's facing up to life in prison on a first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping charge, if convicted. Lyft is taking the situation seriously.
Statement from Lyft:
"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."
According to Lyft every driver is screened before they’re permitted to drive for Lyft, starting with professional third-party background and DMV checks. However, the same cannot be said about clients.
Chat with a Local Lyft Driver
Katie, who didn't want to share her last name, is a local Lyft driver. "I carry pepper spray on the door handle and a pistol clipped to the door. Also Lyft knows who is going where and there is a 'paper' trail. Most clients pictures show up when they request a ride," explains Katie. "I have only rejected one person. He could have been a nice guy but I didn't feel comfortable with it. All the rides I have done I have really enjoyed the social aspect . I've met very friendly people."