San Diego

Lyft Passenger Claims She Woke Up To Driver Sexually Assaulting Her

A 33-year-old Pacific Beach mother and wife is issuing a warning to rideshare customers after a Lyft driver allegedly sexually assaulted her during a drive home.

“I woke up to him pinching my nipples and playing with my breasts,” she said.

Because she’s a possible victim of sexual assault, NBC 7 is not identifying her by name.

The alleged incident happened around midnight Saturday.

The mother says she hailed a ride after going out to dance and have a drink close to home.

She says as a former Lyft driver herself, she felt comfortable hopping in the front seat for the ride home.

She says it's something she does to show she considers drivers human and not just cabbies, considering the cars tend to be their personal vehicles.

During the less than ten minute trip home, the passenger says she dozed-off, only to be awakened outside her house by the driver's unwanted touch.

“I freaked out! I grabbed my phone and I called my husband. I said he's doing weird things to me, come outside. My husband ran outside.”

She says the driver sped off. San Diego Police are now investigating the case as a misdemeanor sexual assault.

In a statement Lyft said:

“Safety is Lyft's top priority and the behavior described is deeply disturbing. We have permanently banned the driver from the Lyft platform and reached out to the rider to offer our support. We have also reached out to law enforcement and stand ready to assist with their investigation.”

“I don’t want to ruin a person's life over a mistake,” said the passenger. “But it is my responsibility to stop this person from going farther. If they were just testing me and the waters last night, what else could they do?"

Because this case is still under investigation, SDPD says the Lyft driver is not being pursued at this time.

To help keep you safe,  Lyft suggests matching the license plate of the person who arrives with the one in the app to make sure you have the right car.

And share your trip details with loved ones. Lyft also notes you can always end a ride at any time if a driver makes you uncomfortable.

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