REDLANDS (CBSLA) — A Lyft driver has been kicked off the ride-sharing app after kicking a blind man and his guide dog out of his car – then calling 911 on him.
Charles Massey and his guide dog, an 8-year-old yellow lab named Jedi, got into a Lyft on April 6 in Grand Terrace, but it didn’t take long for things to take a wrong turn.
Massey says they got in and closed the door, but then the driver said he could not take the pair where they needed to go. When Massey asked why, he says the driver told him he didn’t want Jedi damaging his leather seats.
Massey, in an effort to placate the driver, put Jedi on the floor, but the driver refused to budge on the issue. Massey also refused to get out – so the driver called 911. Massey recorded the call on his own phone.
“I have a service dog, I’m blind,” Massey says to 911 dispatchers.
“And I asked him – it doesn’t matter. I need a police officer,” the male driver is heard saying.
“No, it does matter,” Massey says in the recording.
A San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy responded to the scene, and took Massey and Jedi home.
Lyft says they have removed the driver from the platform.
“Any form of discrimination on our platform is simply unacceptable. Lyft has a strict Service Animal policy that requires all drivers to accommodate passengers traveling with service animals, and we take any allegation of this nature very seriously,” the ride-sharing company said in a statement. “We have been in touch with the passenger to offer our support and permanently deactivated the driver.”
But, one driver removed won’t make a dent in what Massey says is an ongoing problem for blind people.