ST. LOUIS ( -- A 53-year-old Lyft driver from St. Peters who has been charged with raping and kidnapping a woman in June was arrested Thursday night.

Larry Ward mugshot

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney filed charges against Larry Ward.

The probable cause statement says the rape survivor ordered a Lyft on June 22 from the 1000 block of Clarke downtown. Ward was the driver, the report says, and he deviated from the destination, turned off the Lyft app, entered the backseat of the car, and raped the woman.

Detectives said the woman was drunk and did not give consent. Lab results confirmed Ward’s DNA was present in the survivor’s rape kit, the probable cause statement says.

Records show a warrant has been issued for Ward’s arrest. Once in custody, his bond will be set at $100,000.

This news comes just after more than a dozen women filed lawsuits against Lyft in San Francisco, on claims the ride-share company has not done enough to prevent assaults by drivers.

The suit alleges after the women reported the attacks, Lyft did not follow up on their complaints or played down the seriousness of what happened.

The company runs background checks on its drivers, but when News 4 ran a background check on Ward, only minor traffic offenses popped up. 

According to Lyft, they use a third-party company to do background checks.

They do a Social Security number trace, a nationwide criminal search, a county court record search, and a 50-state sex offender registry search.

The company also claims to do continuous criminal monitoring on its drivers

Uber recently disclosed their ride safety report that 3,000 sexual assaults occurred in 2018.

Uber said it recorded 235 rapes took place last year and hundreds more reports of assaults were reported of unwanted touching, kissing, or attempted rape.

News 4 tried reaching out to Lyft and Uber for a comment. We’re waiting to hear back.

Lyft did tell national news outlets when responding to the lawsuit that they are working to invest in new features and policies to protect riders.

If you find yourself in an unsafe situation with a driver you can connect with 911 from the Lyft app.

The app displays the users current location and vehicle information including the plate number, making it easier for passengers to convey important details to 911 dispatchers quickly.

Ward was arrested at his home around 9:20 p.m. Thursday.

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