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Ride-Share Driver Got into Shootout with Violent Pimp While Saving Badly Injured Trafficking Victim: Authorities

The Emerald Motel

The Emerald Motel, where authorities said victim H.A. fled from defendant Winston Burt.

A woman fled her violent pimp with the help of a ride-share driver who found her almost naked, sitting on a highway, say authorities in King County, Washington.

“H.A. felt safer in the middle of a busy highway, practically naked, at night than being within arm’s reach of the defendant,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Benjamin Gauen wrote, according to The Associated Press. “Surveillance video from a nearby business has corroborated H.A.’s account of what happened.”

Authorities identified the defendant as Winston Burt, 30, aka “Dice Capone.” They reportedly said the victim, identified by her initials as 20-year-old H.A., told police she had been working for him as a prostitute for about four months, in California, Arizona, and Seattle. But he began to beat her with she and another women said they wanted to quit and go back home. According to authorities, she said Burt beat and pistol-whipped her on Nov. 2, splitting her lip so bad that it looked like it was hanging off her face.

Burt allegedly also pistol-whipped and kicked the other woman, S.T., under her eyes swelled shut, and he forced the other women to participate.

H.A. had essentially no resources to escape. According to investigators, she had no phone, and was moneyless — the women who worked for Burt gave him the cash they earned. Things allegedly began to culminate Nov. 5. Burt began to attack H.A. again, authorities said. He allegedly picked her up and slammed her when she attempted to flee out the front door. Instead, she managed to jump out a third-story window. Though she managed to flag down a vehicle with two women, the other women being trafficked by Burt played it off like she was “off her medication,” and they forced her into Burt’s car, telling the bystanders they were taking H.A. to a hospital.

But instead, H.A. was taken to the Emerald Motel. Burt allegedly told the other women to get inside the busines. According to allegations, he said he would let H.A. go, but first, he was going to knock her teeth out. Authorities said H.A. managed to run out, fleeing across a six-lane highway, where she sat. A ride-share driver told her to get in his van, authorities said.

Burt allegedly chased, shooting at them. The ride-share driver shot back over several blocks, making his way to Interstate 5 and finding cops at a gas station, authorities said. No injuries were reported from the shootout but the van’s windshield was covered in holes.

H.A., authorities said, went to the hospital with injuries such as black eyes, broken ribs, a broken leg as well as injuries to her spine, according to the AP.

Burt faces charges including human trafficking, and drive-by shooting, but more charges are likely, Gauen said.

[Screenshot via KCPQ]

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