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Report details ride-hailing driver’s risqué comments to girl

A driver for a ride-hailing service for kids accused of making inappropriate comments to a 13-year-old spoke of “fat booties” and vehicular sex while transporting her, according to his arrest report.

Ranier Braga, 50, was arrested on Feb. 21 and charged with luring a child and unlawful contact with a minor. He was driving for HopSkipDrive, a ride-hailing service for children that mainly provides transportation to and from school.

Braga picked up a 13-year-old girl from Child Haven and drove her to school on Feb. 13, and drove her from school back to Child Haven on Feb. 20. The girl told police that, during those rides, Braga made inappropriate comments to her and touched her face, the report said.

The girl said Braga asked what her nationality was and told her he likes Puerto Rican women “because they have ‘fat booties.’” She said he told her he wanted to get a darker tint on his windows, explaining that people can have sex in their cars without getting caught if they have darkly tinted windows, according to the report.

She said Braga offered to drive her to Walmart and said he could tell the app that he’d dropped her off at school so no one would know, according to the report. She declined the offer and, as she was getting out of the car, Braga “swiped (his finger) across the bottom part of her chin and said, ‘Alright, sweetie,’” the report said.

Las Vegas police arrested Braga at his home on Feb. 21 without incident.

Braga was in court last week, and court proceedings revealed he had never been arrested before and went through a background check before he was hired by HopSkipDrive. Braga said in court he’s a native of Hawaii who has worked for nearly four years as a five-star rated Lyft driver in Las Vegas.

According to the report, Braga admitted to everything and acknowledged that it was inappropriate, though he said he did it because “being from Hawaii, he is accustomed to helping and taking care of people.” He wrote a letter of apology to the victim, which was impounded by the Southern Nevada Children’s Assessment Center.

Braga is under house arrest with high-level monitoring by authorities, and he “was taken off the driver list in the app,” according to the report.

Las Vegas police have urged anyone with information about Braga “or who feels they may have been victimized by him” to call police at 702-828-3421.

Contact Alexis Egeland at aegeland@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexis_egeland on Twitter.

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