Lyft Driver Repeatedly Pointed Gun at Passengers on North Side, Called Them Homophobic Slur: Lawsuit - NBC Chicago

Lyft Driver Repeatedly Pointed Gun at Passengers on North Side, Called Them Homophobic Slur: Lawsuit

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    Lyft Driver Repeatedly Pointed Gun at Passengers on North Side, Called Them Homophobic Slur: Lawsuit

    A Lyft driver pointed a gun at two men and uttered a homophobic slur last September, according to a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County court. Trina Orlando reports. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017)

    A Lyft driver pointed a gun at two men and uttered a homophobic slur last September, according to a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County court.

    Charlie Calvin and another man requested a ride after a night out at Side Track in Boystown on Chicago’s North Side. Bryant Greening, the pair’s attorney, said they never could have expected what happened just minutes into the ride.

    At a press conference Wednesday, Greening said Calvin alerted the driver to a wrong turn she had made before things escalated.

    “At that moment the Lyft driver reached into her center console, she grabbed a gun, she turned around and she pointed it in the face of the two Lyft passengers,” Greening said.

    According to the suit, the exchange didn’t end there. The driver got out of the vehicle and pointed the gun at the plaintiffs a second time, the suit says, while allegedly verbally berating them.

    “I was kind of startled at first,” Calvin said at the press conference. “My level of surprise was astronomical.”

    Chicago police charged Jaleesa Rance with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful use of a weapon—both misdemeanors.

    Lyft declined to comments on specifics citing ongoing litigation but called the allegations disturbing.

    "The behavior being described violates multiple Lyft policies, including our non-discrimination and no weapons policies,” a Lyft statement read in part. “As soon as this incident was reported to us, we deactivated the driver and reached out to the passenger to offer our assistance."

    Each plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $150,000.

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