GLEN BURNIE, Md. — Anne Arundel County Police have now learned that Cepeda was not acting in an official Lyft capacity at the time that he drove the victim to Glen Burnie, but at this point they’re not sure if he displayed a Lyft placard in his car or was posing as a Lyft driver.
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
It was nine o’clock at night on Wednesday, April 28th when the 26-year-old victim caught her ride from an undisclosed hotel on Elkridge Landing Road near BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and the driver transported her to a hotel on Governor Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie.
But when she didn’t meet her appointment and returned to the lobby, the same driver was waiting for her and offered to take her back to her hotel.
“The male drove it over to the dumpster,” said Anne Arundel County Police Ofc. Christina Lockwood. “At that point, he dragged her out of the vehicle with a knife and forcibly raped her. She went into the hotel at that time and called for 911 assistance.”
According to charging documents, a witness who was staying at the hotel watched the man as he forced his victim behind the dumpster and alerted the hotel to call police.
Officers later learned he had made off with the woman’s purse, her iPhone and all of her cash and credit cards.
A surveillance picture of the suspect brought in a tip that the man may be a Lyft driver and the ride share company helped them identify 31-year-old Aaron Anthony Cepeda as a suspect.
Upon his arrest, investigators discovered items in his car, which matched what he had been wearing at the time of the assault.
“The charges—they range from sexual assault charges to 1st and 2nd degree assault and there’s a couple of handful of charges in there and offenses as well,” said Lockwood. “It’s still an active and fluid investigation.”
If there are any other women who have been victimized by Cepeda, they’re asked to contact the Anne Arundel County Sex Offense Unit at 410-222-4732.