Sioux Falls ‘Lyft’ Driver Allegedly Sexually Assaults Passenger
The ride-share company Lyft just received another blackeye here in Sioux Falls.
On the heels of a Sioux Falls Lyft driver hurling racial slurs to a passenger recently, comes the news that another user of Lyft has now had a very uncomfortable experience with the ride-share service.
Dakota News Now is reporting that a Sioux Falls woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a Lyft driver on Friday (January 28).
Zahra Wol ordered a ride from Lyft last Friday night after being out with a group of friends for the evening.
Her comfort level with using the ride-share company has always been good having been a Lyft driver herself in the past, that's why she did not hesitate to sit in the front seat of the vehicle when the driver extended the invitation. As Wol told Dakota News Now, many Lyft passengers do.
Wol said she was having a conversation with the driver about his wife and kids when their discussion took an ugly turn rather quickly. Before she knew it, the driver's left hand was on the steering wheel of the car, and his right hand was on her.
According to Wol, the Lyft driver began to fondle her. She quickly made the decision not to resist in fear the assault could escalate. However, as she began to get closer to her home, she told Dakota News Now that's when she knew the ride needed to end elsewhere. It was at that moment, Wol decided to yell for the driver to stop the car.
Wol told Dakota News Now, “I wanted to be in a public place. The driver pulled over and then he was like, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I just have a crush.”
After the Lyft driver stopped the vehicle, Wol ran into a nearby restaurant, immediately went inside the bathroom, and notified police.
Police arrived a short time later, and as Wol said, "Were very kind and compassionate."
According to Dakota News Now, police commended Wol on having the presence of mind to have a picture of the car.
Officer Sam Clemens with the Sioux Falls Police Department told Dakota News Now if something like that should ever happen to you, having a picture of the car or the license plate, certainly aids us in being able to identify the driver or at least the vehicle that’s associated with the incident.
After hearing the news of the incident, Lyft is taking immediate action. A spokesperson for the ride-share company released the following statement:
“Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and the behavior described is appalling. When we learned of this incident, we removed the driver from the Lyft community and got in touch with the rider to offer our support. We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.” - Lyft Spokesperson
Dakota News Now reports the investigation into Friday's assault incident is still underway. No arrests or charges have taken place at this time. But, Wol did receive notification from Lyft that the driver she used on Friday is no longer a member of the ride-share company.
Source: Dakota News Now
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