comscore Former Hawaii man driving for child rideshare in Vegas faces charges | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Former Hawaii man driving for child rideshare in Vegas faces charges

  • LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Ranier Salcedo Braga, 50, of Las Vegas, following his arrest, Feb. 21, on misdemeanor unlawful contact with a minor and luring a child charges. Braga, a driver for the child-oriented rideshare company HopSkipDrive, is accused of making improper comments to a 13-year-old girl he was driving to school.

    LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Ranier Salcedo Braga, 50, of Las Vegas, following his arrest, Feb. 21, on misdemeanor unlawful contact with a minor and luring a child charges. Braga, a driver for the child-oriented rideshare company HopSkipDrive, is accused of making improper comments to a 13-year-old girl he was driving to school.

LAS VEGAS >> A driver for a child-oriented rideshare company that began contracting with government authorities last month is accused of having unlawful contact with a 13-year-old girl he transported to a Las Vegas-area middle school, authorities said Wednesday.

Ranier Salcedo Braga, 50, was not asked to enter a plea to misdemeanor unlawful contact and luring a minor charges stemming from alleged comments to the girl that Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman characterized as “disturbing, if true” and “entirely inappropriate.”

Details of the comments and documents in the case have not been made public. The judge referred to riders being picked up at a county-operated children’s shelter.

Las Vegas police on Tuesday announced Braga had been arrested Friday, and invited people who feel they may have been victimized to contact sex assault detectives.

Prosecutor Megan Thompson and Braga’s court-appointed lawyer, Robson Hauser, acknowledged that Braga had no criminal history. Braga told the judge he’s a divorced father of a teenage son who moved to Las Vegas from Hawaii five years ago.

Braga said he managed a car repair shop in suburban Henderson, drove for ride-hailing service Lyft for more than three years and passed a background screening including fingerprinting, photograph and criminal history check to drive unaccompanied children for HopSkipDrive.

His comments came while the judge considered imposing bail. She decided Braga could remain on house arrest pending a preliminary hearing of evidence March 11.

Clark County on Tuesday temporarily suspended a one-year, $250,000 contract with HopSkipDrive that officials last month touted as a way to get foster children and at-risk youth to and from school. The suspension was pending the outcome of the investigation of the allegations.

The contract was to be worth up to $1.25 million over four years if the Clark County School District and county Department of Family Services exercised all renewal options, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal .

A HopSkipDrive official did not respond to an email from The Associated Press. The Los Angeles-based company operates in 12 other cities. In a statement to the Review-Journal, it said it enforces “a strict zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate conduct between riders and drivers.”

“Any allegation of wrongdoing results in an immediate suspension or termination of a (driver’s) account pending investigation,” it said.

Comments (5)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up