Lyft driver accused of forcibly removing college student from car for cursing

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A student at the University of Albany accused a Lyft driver of forcibly removing her from his car. She captured part of the incident on video. (Photo: Twitter)

By Hope Schreiber, Yahoo Lifestyle

A student at the University of Albany was left shaken after her Lyft driver allegedly attempted to forcibly remove her from the vehicle after he overheard her curse on the phone with her friend.

Pilar Carrera, 19, was traveling from her campus dorm to a bank on Monday, but the ride abruptly ended within approximately three minutes when the Lyft driver, identified as only Todd on the ride-sharing app, became irate.

“Being from the Bronx, NY, cursing is just in my vocabulary. Yes sometimes we have to learn to turn it on and off, but WE ALL occasionally swear,” Carrera tweeted.

While the student didn’t recall what word she used, she said her language caused the Lyft driver to turn around and yell at her. He allegedly screamed at the young woman that she would not curse in his car. As a result, her friend on the phone asked her what was going on in the vehicle.

“And I was just like ‘listen this man is buggin’ [the f***] out,’” Carrera tweeted in her account of the incident, thinking the man would not hear her.

That’s when Carerra said the driver turned around again and yelled at the young woman to “get the [f***] out.”

Carrera tweeted that she asked the driver to cancel the ride and she would get out of the vehicle. At that moment, she wrote that he exited the car, which is when she said she started to record what was happening on her phone.

Carrera tweeted that she was only able to capture four-second clips because she had Snapchat open at the time and that was the camera she could quickly access during the confrontation. On Snapchat, once your finger leaves the “record” button, the camera turns off.

After attempting to remove Carrera physically, the driver returned to his vehicle and told her he was taking her to the police station. “I said I would’ve simply left if he canceled my ride and we dealt with it as such. He took matters into his own hands to forcefully remove me. I decided it is no longer worth my life to stay in this car. He throws $5 at me for the ride and says [get the f*** out]!” Carrera tweeted.

Lyft provided the following statement to Yahoo Lifestyle on the incident. “Safety is our top priority and there is no place in the Lyft community for this behavior. We have been in touch with the passenger to offer support and permanently deactivated the driver,” the company said.

Carrera wrote on Twitter that she called 911 after the altercation and was transferred to the University Police Department, which she said did not take her incident seriously.

“I told the two [male] officers everything. For them to come back to my room and basically tell me nothing can be done. [And] that if Todd had to physically remove me from his property then so be it,” she shared on Twitter. She was encouraged by someone to speak to a supervisor, who she said was more sympathetic, and was told her to file a statement.

The University at Albany Police Department did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment but released a statement on Twitter, which read, “UPD responded to the student’s residence hall, spoke to the student and reviewed the brief video clip shared on social media. Subsequently, UPD spoke to the student a second time, as well as a member of her family.

“During these conversations, UPD advised the student of her right to file a complaint of harassment and offered to assist her in doing so – as the department would do for any complaining party,” the statement said. “As of Wednesday afternoon, no complaint has been filed.”

This article originally appeared in Yahoo Lifestyle.

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