Crime

Pimp claimed he was ride-share driver, police say

A man who dropped off a 17-year-old girl at a fast-food restaurant for a date with what turned out to be an undercover officer told Lakewood police he drove for a ride-sharing service, according to court documents.

Pierce County prosecutors charged him with being the teen’s pimp.

Terence Franklin Hopwood, 41, of Renton was arraigned Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court on charges of promoting commercial sex abuse of a minor and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Judge Kitty-Ann van Doorninck set bail at $300,000.

According to court documents:

A detective was tipped off that the girl, a runaway from Portland, was suspected of working as a prostitute in Pierce and King counties. He also was given her listing on Backpage.com, which provided her phone number.

The detective set up a “date,” meeting Tuesday at the fast-food joint before going to an area hotel, where officers arrested the teen after she took off her shirt and asked for her “donation.”

Hopwood was waiting nearby between his SUV and the restaurant when police arrested him and found a .40-caliber pistol in a holster he was wearing.

Hopwood initially said he was an Uber driver who gave the girl a ride from Seattle to Tacoma. He changed his story when asked if he had the ride-sharing app on his phone. He then said he was giving a friend a ride, before admitting he was a felon.

He gave his phone to detectives, who found a message about the girl’s date with the detective and the same photos that were on her Backpage.com profile.

Hopwood has felony convictions for third-degree assault and taking a motor vehicle without permission. That makes it illegal for him to carry a weapon.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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