JURUPA VALLEY, Calif. (CBS Los Angeles) – A Southern California Lyft driver is speaking out after he was violently attacked while picking up a potential customer. He and rideshare advocates want the policies changed so this never happens again.
It happened outside Fabios Bar in Jurupa Valley at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 1. A dash camera caught Ye Lu’s desperate plea to 911. “I think I will die, I think I will die,” Lu can be heard saying to the operator. “I’m a Lyft driver.”READ MORE: Amber Alert Issued For 12-Year-Old Girl Out Of Converse, Texas
The incident started because Lu didn’t want the rider putting his belongings in the back seat of his car. And he had too much to fit in the trunk. Fabios Bar said the rider was DJing there hours before.
Lu said his car was too small to carry the passenger with the equipment, and that’s when the suspect attacked him. “He started using a microphone stand to hit my head,” said Lu. “I got six or seven stitches.”
Eleven days later, the stitches have been removed but the fear still lingers for Lu. “I drive for a rideshare company for almost 5 years now; I never thought this happen to me,” said Lu.READ MORE: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taken A Toll On Mental Health, Led To More Drug Abuse, CDC Says
Lu is telling his story because he says something must be done. He is expected to receive some assistance from Lyft for medical bills and repairs to his car. But he and rideshare driving advocates said it is not enough to cover his full expenses, with an estimated $8,000 total, including time off of work.
“I’m not driving right now because I’m scared this could happen again,” added Lu.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department arrested the man at the time of the attack for assault with a deadly weapon.MORE NEWS: US To Deport 'Massive' Number Of Haitian Migrants From Texas Border Town
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Lu pay for his expenses.