CHICAGO – Two men sued Lyft, Inc. on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, alleging their Lyft driver drew a gun, chased them out of her vehicle and threatened, “I’ll blast you f*ggots.”
Charlie Calvin, 31, of Chicago, requested a Lyft car in the early morning hours of September 1, 2017. He was paired with Lyft driver Jaleesa Rance for a trip from Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood.
Calvin and his co-passenger, who asked to not be identified, were leaving the club Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St., at approximately 1:50 a.m. The men had been out with friends and were heading home for the night.
A few minutes into the ride, the Lyft driver allegedly pulled a 9MM hand gun out of the center console, pointed it at Calvin, and demanded the men exit the vehicle.
Fearful for their lives, Calvin and the co-passenger scrambled to get out of the car. The Lyft driver allegedly followed them out of the vehicle, pointed the gun at them again, and yelled, “I’ll blast you f*ggots.” Rance then allegedly fled the scene.
The couple immediately reported the incident to the Chicago Police Department. Officers allegedly found Rance in her vehicle shortly thereafter and placed her under arrest her for alleged aggravated assault and alleged unlawful use of a handgun. Chicago Police allegedly recovered a gun with 18 live rounds from Rance’s vehicle.
Calvin and the co-passenger took a photograph of Rance allegedly pointing the gun at them with her finger on the trigger.
The event has left Calvin and the co-passenger emotionally distressed, anxious and fearful.
The couple has since retained Chicago-based law firm LegalRideshare, LLC to represent them for injuries associated with the assault. LegalRideshare filed a civil lawsuit in Cook County, Illinois on the men’s behalf, naming Lyft and the driver as defendants.
LegalRideshare attorney Bryant Greening said Lyft has a responsibility to protect passengers from assaults and discrimination. “Lyft promises a safe, weapons-free, discrimination-free experience,” Greening said. “The company failed our community when its driver allegedly pointed a gun in the faces of two young men because of their sexual orientation.”
Greening said this event highlights multiple recurrent issues in rideshare. “Guns, violence, homophobia: these are all concerns we hear about often,” Greening said. “Yet, the rideshare companies seem to lack the motivation to protect passengers and drivers.”
Criminal charges are pending against Rance in Cook County, Illinois.
LegalRideshare, LLC concentrates solely on representing the rights of injured rideshare drivers, passengers and victims. Attorney Greening can be reached at (312) 767-7950 or email@example.com.