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.

Comments (7)
  1. Carlys Krueger says:

    I Am A Rideshare Driver and would LOVE to take Mr Massey and Jedi anywhere they needed to go!! So sorry this happened to them!:((

  2. Pat Culleton says:

    This Driver and left must be reported to the DOJ! It is a $10,000 fine and if PEOPLE with Disabilities don’t stand up it not only hurts them but all of us. No one deserves this treatment!

  3. Craig Heaps says:

    The driver was also in violation of California Penal Code section 365.5, which makes it a misdemeanor to refuse accommodation to a disabled person because of his/her service dog. It carries a fine of up to $2,500. The police officer could have cited the driver for that violation.

  4. I would love to hear the driver’s side of this. As an Uber driver, I highly doubt this is how things actually played out. I would never ask someone to get out of my car unless I felt threatened in some way. This is why all drivers need to have a dash cam – to protect themselves from accusations made by riders.

  5. If its you’re car. you don’t have to take anyone anywhere if you don’t want too. Its my experience as a rideshare driver.