MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- A Midland man was arrested last week after investigators said he allegedly sexually assaulted an Uber driver during a ride and then tried to pay him for sex. Arthur Salazar, Jr., 56, has been charged with Indecent Assault and Solicitation of Prostitution.
According to an affidavit, on October 17, officers with the Midland Police Department were called to the intersection of Big Spring Street and Solomon Lane after an Uber driver called 911 to report an assault. At the scene, officers met with the driver who said he’d been dispatched by the ride share service to pick up a man, later identified as Salazar. The driver said when Salazar entered his vehicle, he appeared to be intoxicated and started “venting” about his wife.
The driver said Salazar then asked him if he had a girlfriend, to which he replied, “no”. That’s when the driver said Salazar, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, allegedly reached over and “forcibly” put his hand down his basketball shorts and grabbed his genitals. The man said he told Salazar to take his hand out of his pants, and Salazar complied, but then reportedly pulled his own pants down and grabbed the driver’s hand and forced him to touch him. The driver said he asked Salazar to stop more than once but didn’t remove his hand because he was afraid things would escalate while he was driving.
At Salazar’s home, the driver said Salazar asked for oral sex and offered to pay for it; the man said he told Salazar no and asked him to leave his vehicle. Salazar then reportedly asked for the driver’s phone number, which he said he gave to him because he was uncomfortable and wanted Salazar to exit the vehicle. The man said Salazar then tried to call him, but he rejected the call and immediately blocked the number.
Investigators ran a check on the blocked phone number and identified Salazar through phone records. At Salazar’s home, investigators asked Salazar if he knew why they were there and if anything happened in the vehicle, to which Salazar replied, “nothing like that” and said he didn’t want to get the “Uber guy” in trouble and refused to elaborate further. Salazar then admitted that the driver had touched his genitals but said he didn’t know how he’d gotten the driver’s phone number.
Officers contacted Uber and reported the incident, which prompted the company to ban Salazar’s account. He was then arrested and taken to the Midland County Detention Center where he was later released on an unknown bond.