Lyft driver accused of forcing Davie teen to perform oral sex

Julio Perez arrested Wednesday night in Hialeah

DAVIE, Fla. – A 43-year-old Lyft driver has been arrested in connection with the sexual battery of a 16-year-old boy in Davie.

Julio Perez was arrested Wednesday night in Hialeah, Davie police said.

Police revealed during a news conference Thursday afternoon that Perez picked up the teenager from his high school and drove him to his home in Davie. Police said Perez left but returned about 10 minutes later.

"He knocked on the door," Capt. Dale Engle said. "They engaged in a conversation at the doorway. The driver was able to coerce his way to get into the residence. Once inside the residence, he forced the boy to perform oral sex on him."

The boy told his mother once she got home, and that's when Davie police were called. 

The boy remembered Perez's first name and other details that were included in the Lyft app. 

"Lyft was not as cooperative as some of the other applications in releasing the information on who the driver was," Engle said. "Although we were able to get it the next day."

Police said Perez confessed to the crime. 

"Mr. Perez said he thought the kid was 12 years old," Engle said. 

Lyft drivers are not allowed to pick up solo riders under the age of 17, per company policy.

"We are horrified by these allegations," Lyft spokeswoman Kate Margolis told Local 10 News in a statement. "We deactivated the driver as soon as this was reported and stand ready to support the passenger and his family. We are currently in contact with law enforcement and have offered our full assistance and cooperation."

Engle said police are concerned that there may be more victims.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.