Law enforcement has arrested the man who allegedly posed as an rideshare driver to pick up young women, including University of South Carolina students, and held them against their will.
Farris Kaloti, 28, was arrested in a suburb of Miami Thursday, according to a report verified by Jeff Stensland, USC’s Director of Public Relations.
Kaloti was arrested by the Pinecrest Police Department on two outstanding arrest warrants, one for assault and the other for domestic violence, both unrelated to any incident involving USC students, according to USC.
A Carolina Alert crime bulletin was issued Tuesday related to Kaloti, who allegedly offered rides to females/students taking them to places other than their desired destinations and refusing to let them out of the vehicle.
On Nov. 26, two females, ages 21 and 18, reported to the Columbia Police Department that they got a ride from Kaloti. One female described feeling uncomfortable during the trip and getting out of the car.
In an attempt to help her friend follow suit, CPD said Kaloti allegedly pushed and pulled the first female, while trying to prevent the other female from leaving.
After a brief struggle, Kaloti drove away from the scene, according to CPD. The injured female went to a local hospital to receive medical treatment for scrapes and bruises to her leg.
Kaloti is listed in Richland County court records as a resident of Miami.
It’s unclear when and how Kaloti got to Miami, but after being spotted at a Pinecrest Whole Foods Wednesday, police immediately set up surveillance in the area, miamiherald.com reported. Kaloti was followed to an area near his former home and was arrested during a traffic stop, when he switched lanes without using a turning signal.
“The reason that police acted immediately is because they wanted to protect the public in case he did something similar in this area,” Pinecrest spokeswoman Michelle Hammontree told the Miami Herald.
Kaloti, who has a previous criminal record, is being held at Miami-Dade’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
He is being held on a $9,999 bond, wach.com reported.
Anyone with more information about Kaloti is asked to call the USC Police Department at 803-777-4215, or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
Although Farris Kaloti is currently in jail in Miami, the Univeristy of South Carolina Police Department encourages members of the community to continue to follow the safety tips below.
- USC offers the free RAVE Guardian Safety App which turns any cell phone into a personalized protection network, connecting with University Police during an emergency and giving them important information they need instantly. Get more information here.
- The University has and encourages the use of several available shuttle services for transportation to and around campus such as the Evening Shuttle, Late Night Shuttle, APO, and others.
- Have a plan before going out. Make sure your friends know not to leave you alone or let you leave anywhere with someone other than the friends you came with. Stay in a group as much as possible.
- Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If a place or situation doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
SOURCE: University of South Carolina