Charlotte County Sheriffs Office –
On June 8, 2021, Road patrol initiated a suspicious incident report regarding a Lyft Driver and a client. The caller informed dispatchers that the incident happened the day prior on June 7. The client alleged the ride was suspicious in nature and that she was in fear. At this time, the Criminal Investigations Division took lead on the investigation.
The Lyft driver was cooperative with detectives and disclosed that after his credit card was declined at the gas station, he needed to get an alternate form of payment. However, after getting off the interstate the passenger asked to get out of the car. The driver stopped and put the car in park so that the rear doors would unlock, and all his occupants got out of the vehicle. He explained his vehicle’s safety features require it to be placed in park to allow back seat passengers to exit and wanted to ensure the passengers safety by stopping in a safe location.
Investigators reviewed the drivers bank statements which supports the claim. The investigation concluded that the driver did not prevent the passengers from exiting the vehicle at any point and it was determined that no crime had occurred.
We encourage anyone utilizing rideshare services to follow a few safety tips:
Always ask “What’s my name?” Never get into a vehicle unless the driver can identify your by name. If they’re your actual driver they will know your first name and destination.
Verify the car and driver You must match the make, model, and license plate of the car to what’s listed in the app. Make sure their personal appearance also matches the driver profile.
Use trip-sharing features Both major rideshare companies offer the ability to “Share trip status” or “Share Route” with trusted family and friends.
Choose where to sit wisely It is safer to sit in the back seat of the car because it creates two possible exits and increases space between you and the driver.
Trust your gut If at any point something seems “off” about your ride or driver, speak up and ask to end the ride at a safe location.