Lyft deactivated a driver in Seattle after police say he demanded sex from a rider before dragging her beside his car as she tried to retrieve her lost phone.
The Seattle Police Department described the incident here, which happened early Saturday morning around 1:30 a.m. in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
After being dropped off by a Lyft driver at home, the victim realized she left her iPhone 6 in the vehicle. She used an iPad to call her phone and the driver answered.
However, the Lyft driver told the woman, “I’m working,” and “you’re not going to talk to me like that,” and “you don’t deserve your phone back,” while repeatedly hanging up on her, according to the police report. Eventually, he said he would bring the phone back if she had sex with him.
The driver returned to the victim’s home and met her outside. She noticed that he was holding her phone and tried reaching in the vehicle through the driver-side window. The driver then sped away while the victim’s arm was still inside the car, dragging her “slightly” and leaving her with “multiple lacerations and abrasions on her feet, legs, arms and hands.”
The woman then texted a friend, who contacted police. The victim’s phone was turned off when police tried calling the device. The victim was able to provide her e-mailed ride receipt from Lyft, which showed trip information along with a photo of the driver.
Investigators are working with Lyft to identify the driver. Here’s a statement from Lyft:
We take all matters involving safety extremely seriously. We immediately disabled the driver’s account upon receiving this troubling report. Our Trust and Safety team has been in touch with the passenger and we will continue to help in any way we can, as well as support the authorities in the ongoing investigation.
Like Uber and Sidecar, Lyft requires background checks of all its drivers. “As pioneers in transportation, we’re changing the industry with safety front of mind,” the company notes.
As a way to help “personalize” the ride experience, Lyft in March added driver and rider profiles, “a new feature that gives passengers and drivers the option to share fun facts about themselves and discover mutual friends and interests.”
In May 2014, a Lyft passenger punched his driver in the nose in Seattle after he was asked to stop smoking in the vehicle.
Earlier this year, a Cato Institute study found that Uber and Lyft were just as safe as taxis.