A Lyft Driver Gets Beaten by Passenger in NYC


Jan 5, 2019
Austin, Texas
What City & State do you work in?
New York, NY
Some brilliant passenger in Queens, NY, decided to take a Lyft rather than an ambulance when he needed to rush to the hospital... under obvious distress. Several minutes into the ride the passenger asks the driver to start weaving in and out of traffic. The driver says he can't. And of course he can't... he's not an ambulance. He doesn't have a little light on top of his car or a siren and it's illegal for him to drive that way.

NOTE TO FOOLS: If you're in desperate need to get to the hospital emergency room - DON'T CALL A LYFT... CALL AN AMBUALNCE! That's what ambulances are for. They can weave in and out of traffic. They can even run red lights. Lyft drivers can't. So don't expect them to. And for sure don't beat them up when they don't!

Now... a word to drivers. This driver didn't do anything wrong and he in no way deserved what happened. And I hope the perpetrator will spend a year or two in jail for his vicious, violent and unprovoked attack. However, if as a driver you want to do everything in your power to avoid this kind of attack... just don't say anything that could possibly be taken as rude by the passenger. The man jumped out of his seat when the driver said, "Excuse me ma'am, if you're going to be disrespectful I'll just pull over right now." Apparently the thought of the driver pulling over at that moment when he was desperate to get to the hospital was more than the man could take. It obviously infuriated him. And the woman looked like she might have been his mom - and guys don't like it when their moms are slighted - even if they deserve it!

I don't say any of this to fault the driver at all. He did the best he could under very difficult circumstances. But we should all look at videos like this and ask what can we learn from it? My take-away is this. The moment the rider started demanding that the driver break the law and weave in and out of traffic - I think the best course of action would have been to have said, "I'll try" and then as soon as possible pulled the car over, jumped out, take the keys and then demand that the passengers get out.

I'm not sure I would have thought of all that during the ride, but hopefully if I ever get into a similar situation I'll remember this video and do just that.

Here's the full video with sound: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Lyft-Passenger-Queens-New-York-Caught-On-Camera-Brutally-Attacking-Driver-News-NYC-510493261.html

And the good news is - a couple of days later, (i.e. today) the police caught the guy. https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Suspect-Vicious-Beating-Lyft-Driver-Turns-Himself-in-to-Police-Sources-Say-510620201.html

Jon York

Nov 30, 2018
What City & State do you work in?
New York City

And one other lesson - GET A DASHCAM. Can you imagine what Lyft and the police's reaction would have been if the drive had reported this without video? Nobody would have believed him. "It's just your word against his word" they'd say. And the police would say, we have nothing to go on, no way to identify the guy.

So, dashcams are seriously a requirement of the job these days.