Everyone who loves the cheapness of Uber Pool and Lyft Line, take heed: You never know who you're sharing a car with. A cautionary tale came in via the tip line regarding a woman and her boyfriend who shared a Lyft Line Tuesday night with two men in the Mission, on their way home on Valencia Street. The woman, who prefers not to be identified, says she and her boyfriend were riding in the car just blocks from home when she became offended by remarks that this unidentified male passenger was making to his friend in the car about women in the military. It sounds as though the guy making the offensive statements was in the backseat with the couple, while his friend who called the car was in the front seat.
"I asked them to stop," she says. "As soon as I asked, the guy beside me told me to shut up, asked [my boyfriend] to 'shut your girl up,' and then proceeded to throw punches at my head and in [my boyfriend]'s direction, hitting him, and me, while I shouted for the guy punching to stop and asked the driver to stop the car."
The driver pulled over, the assault suspect and his friend who is the Lyft user who requested the ride, named Julio both fled the scene on foot, running toward 24th Street on Valencia. The driver then proceeded to file a complaint about the rider via Lyft's system, and the victims were initially perturbed that there was no more urgent means of handling the situation.
The couple then contacted police as well as Lyft, and Lyft issued the following statement about the incident:
"We take all matters involving safety extremely seriously and we immediately disabled the passenger’s account upon receiving this report. Our Trust and Safety team has been in touch with the victims and will continue to be available to help in any way we can, as well as support the authorities in the ongoing investigation."
Lyft has an emergency response person operating a hotline 24 hours a day, and it appears the driver in this incident was not aware of that and simply filed a complaint in the online queue. The Lyft team immediately flagged the complaint and escalated it, and contacted both the driver and the victims, and their policy allows them release passenger data as soon as they have a subpoena from police.
We'll update you when we learn whether the SFPD has identified or detained the actual suspect.