TORRANCE (CBSLA) — A Lyft driver was punched and spat upon during a July trip in Torrance after the driver asked a passenger to put on a face covering, as required by Lyft.
According to the driver, Pedro Cubias, the passenger began to escalate the situation after a subsequent dispute over whether the driver took her to the correct destination.
“He said he took her to the destination that it said on the app,” Stephanie Cubias, the driver’s wife, said. “She was already mad because of the mask, so she got more mad because apparently the location he took her wasn’t the one that she had requested, but when he looked at the app, that was the location.”
The passenger can be seen in the video shouting and punching the driver multiple times.
Cubias said he did not turn on the camera until after he asked the woman to put on a face covering and she started yelling at him. He can be seen on the video asking her multiple times to get out of the vehicle.
But before leaving the vehicle, the passenger can be seen in the video spitting on the front passenger seat.
With the ongoing pandemic, Cubias and his wife were concerned about his health.
“Hopefully she wasn’t positive and he doesn’t come out positive as well as other health conditions,” his wife said. “Now he’s having problems with his eye, you know, headaches.”
Cubias said he was speaking out so this does not happen to another Lyft driver.
“He wants, you know, justice and for this to stop,” his wife said. “It’s not fair.”
Lyft responded to the incident in a Thursday statement that said:
“Safety is fundamental to Lyft. The behavior shown in the video is unacceptable and has no place on the Lyft platform. Upon learning of the incident, we removed the rider from the Lyft community. We have been in touch with the driver to offer support and are in contact with law enforcement to assist with their investigation.”
The Torrance Police Department said it was investigating the incident.