Ride-sharing company removes driver after sexual assault accusations

Local News

A Lyft driver was removed from the platform after a Columbus mother claimed he sexually assaulted her during the car ride. 

The woman is now pressing charges with police and wants the man to be held accountable. 

“I just felt really violated,” the woman said.

A woman, who we are not identifying because of safety reasons, said that was how she felt while in the car with her Lyft driver Monday night. 

“He was slowly trying to move his hand up my thigh to my private area,” she said.

It was around midnight when she was in the car and that was when she claimed the driver touched her inappropriately.

She said he even tried to get her to touch his private part. 

At the time she said she didn’t fight back, but ignored him instead. 

 “In my mind, I’m thinking I’m in his car he can do anything, take me anywhere,” the woman said.

At the end of the ride, she said he asked for a kiss, which she said he didn’t get. 

“We always say what we would do when we are in that situation, but if he was that bold to do something like that, he could do anything,” she said.

NBC4’s Danielle Avitable reached out to Lyft and a spokesperson emailed the following statement:

These allegations are horrific. The safety of our community is our top priority, and we have no tolerance for this behavior on our platform. After learning of this incident, we permanently deactivated the driver. We have also reached out to the rider to offer our support, and stand ready to assist law enforcement in any investigation.

Tim Durflinger with the Grove City police department said if you are going to use ride-sharing apps, the safe thing to do is to share your location with family and friends and ride in the back seat.

“You have more options in the back seat if you feel uncomfortable or if you feel like something doesn’t feel right you can get out of the car,” Durflinger said.

He also said to verify the driver information before getting in the car and be aware of your surroundings. 

“Not having your head in your phone the whole time and looking around knowing what’s around you,” Durflinger said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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