GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) – Another Cleveland-area rideshare driver was carjacked and attacked. This is the third female rideshare driver to fall victim to this crime in less than a month.
A female Lyft driver was the latest victim. She was violently beaten and carjacked Saturday night. The woman picked up three men in Garfield Heights and drove them to their destination, which was about five minutes away. As soon as she stopped the car, one of the men started punching her in the head from behind and screaming for her to get out of the car.
Garfield Heights police say after she was hit in the head by one of her passengers, another got out of the car and dragged her out of her seat to the ground. The three men then got back in her dark blue Toyota Camry and took off. They are described as being between 18-22 years old and thin.
The men also stole her cell phone and wallet, so the woman wandered around the area until she finally found Marymount Hospital on McCracken Road and checked herself in.
Just two weeks earlier, a Garfield Heights Lyft driver found herself in a very similar situation. She picked up four young men who looked to be around 20, before she knew it, they began beating her.
“Everything was just so fast and so sudden I just couldn’t think,” the victim recalled. “It was just fight or flight.”
She also picked up the men in Garfield Heights and drove them about five minutes away.
“When I got to the destination they were like, ‘Oh it’s right here, it’s right here’ and as I stopped the car somebody swung and hit me in the back of the head and then they just started beating me in the head and then three of them got out of my car and one was left in so I tried to take off I got like halfway down the street struggling and fight with the boy that was left in my car and he just kept punching me in the head everywhere and finally he got the car in neutral got it shut off took my car key,” recalled the victim. “The other three boys caught up and they started all wailing on me.”
She says the men dragged her out of the car and left her bleeding and beaten on the ground. They stole her car, her cell phone, and her wallet.
“I was just praying I could get away,” the Uber driver said.
Less than a week before that Cynthia Norman was also carjacked by a pair of young men in their 20s at an apartment complex in Cleveland’s Nottingham neighborhood. She says one of the men started punching her.
“I had to fight with these two men,” Norman said. “I had one choking me from the back.”
She pulled out her gun and fired it. The men ran off, getting away with her cell phone. Lyft canned Norman after the attempted carjacking and assault due to their “no weapons” policy. Norman is frustrated because her gun was legal, and she was using it to defend herself. Lyft told us they stand by their decision.
19 News did reach out to Lyft regarding this recent carjacking and they told me they are working with police to keep drivers safe as well as exploring ways to expand their safety features to prevent these kinds of attacks.
Lyft says as soon as they learned about this incident, they immediately banned the account from their platform. Police have not said if these carjackings are connected, but there are a lot of similarities between the crimes. If you have any information, contact Garfield Heights police.
*By Kelly Kennedy, Cleveland19*