PHOENIX – It was an extremely disturbing ride for one Valley Lyft driver. The driver says his rider was inappropriately touching himself the entire trip.
The driver tells us he’s been driving for the company for three years and something like this has never happened. He even warns riders he’s recording for security.
It was toward the end of his night when Tyler Denton picked up a man at a bar in north Scottsdale to drive him home to Desert Ridge. It was a normal night – but on Tuesday morning, the ride would go a lot differently.
“At the start of the ride, he said his underwear was itching him [and] I just chuckled,” Denton said. “[I] was too scared to look back at what was going on in the back seat.
Nervous to look back, Denton continued driving to the destination just five miles away.
“On the way there, I [heard and smelled] things that were quite suspicious to me during the ride that made me feel very uncomfortable to the point that I knew something was going on but I didn’t want to turn around and see it. And I was too uncomfortable to say anything, so I finished the ride and went right home,” Denton said.
All along, a video captured exactly what Denton was scared to look at. You can see the man put his hands down his pants.
“The rider had been inappropriately touching himself,” Denton said. “He had unzipped and unbuttoned his pants during the ride.”
Denton immediately reported the incident to Lyft in hopes of getting the passenger banned. he says that Lyft misunderstood and thought he was the passenger, not the driver.
“In their email, it seemed like it was an automated message,” Denton said. “And in the first paragraph, they thought I was the rider reporting the driver, so they misunderstood my complaint.”
We did reach out to Lyft reach out to Lyft regarding what will happen to the passenger because Denton says no updates have been given as to whether or not he’s been banned. His main priority is making sure no driver gets put in this position.
Phoenix Police is investigating whether or not the man caught in this video will be charged. Meanwhile, Lyft officials have released the following statement:
“Safety is Lyft’s top priority and the behavior described is deeply concerning. We have deactivated the rider’s account and reached out to the driver to offer our support. We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.”