Lyft driver refuses to drop customer off; incident caught on cell phone video
WASHINGTON (ABC7) — A cell phone video shows the darkened interior of a Lyft car, and the sound of a woman’s voice, frustrated, and perhaps a little bit frightened.
“I don’t know where he’s taking me,” Desiree Taylor is heard saying, raising her voice. “Dude can you stop?”
The Wednesday evening ride still had Taylor shaken a day later.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen to me last night,” she said quietly. “He didn’t stop, he was speeding, the door was open the entire time.”
Taylor’s fifteen minute odyssey as an unwilling, trapped passenger began simply enough. According to Taylor, she and a friend arranged for a Lyft-line pickup in downtown D.C. But then they asked that the drop-off location be changed.
“We were just re-routing him, so he would still make it to my destination, and drop my friend off along the way,” she explained.
Then, the conversation turned into a dispute.
The driver, named ‘Brian’ said “no”, and Taylor’s friend got out. Taylor said she was pretty unhappy, especially since the trip had been pre-paid by her friend.
She told the driver, “We’re going to write a bad review on you, and that’s when he got upset.”
Taylor said both she and ‘Brian’ got out of the car, and then climbed back in.
“My door was open the entire time,” she recalled. “He made a violent U-turn and went the opposite direction of my house.”
The driver didn’t say a word, Taylor said. She, on the other hand, began to loudly protest, and started to record the ordeal with her phone.
“You’re not taking me to my destination, what are you doing?” she is heard shouting. “This door is still open, because I’m trying to get out, and he won’t stop.”
The ride, at least for Taylor, ended at Sixteenth and Longfellow, when the driver approached a stop sign, and she jumped out.
Taylor admits she kicked the Lyft car in frustration, and left.
When she got home, she said she called the company, and 9-1-1. A trio of MPD officers arrived about five minutes later. Taylor said they listened to her account, and watched the video. But it didn’t appear that the driver’s actions could be defined as criminal.
“They said because there was no threat, that he didn’t threaten me, and there was no sign of any harm that was done to me, that’s why they said they couldn’t do anything,” Taylor said.
She said a Lyft representative returned her call, and apologized, saying ‘Brian’ was no longer with the company.
Thursday night, Lyft spokesperson Alexandra LaManna issued this statement:
“We are extremely troubled to learn about this incident,” it stated. “We have a strict zero-tolerance policy and any behavior threatening the safety of a Lyft community member is not tolerated. The driver’s conduct was absolutely unacceptable, and his access to Lyft has been permanently removed.”
Taylor said she plans to file a written complaint about the ride with MPD. She said she has also contacted an attorney.
“I do want to file charges,” she said. ” I want to press some sort of charge because of what I went through.”
Reposted From: http://wjla.com/news/local/lyft-driver-who-refuses-to-drop-customer-off-caught-on-cell-phone-video