“This story isn’t meant to scare you, but to make you all aware that it CAN happen to you! Below is an excerpt from an email I sent an executive at Lyft:
Last night, I left my friend’s NYC party in midtown around 1 a.m.
I was not drunk but had to get home to my pups as it was about time to let them out.
My friend’s party was in East Midtown on 57th Street.
I live in Harlem on 130th and St Nicholas Ave.
If you live in NYC, it’s only about a 20-minute cab ride home from that location.
I got in the car and as we were approaching 59th street, my driver made a wrong turn and went over the Queensboro Bridge.
I asked him why we were going into Queens and he said, ‘I made a wrong turn.’
I said, ‘No problem! I know it’s a bit confusing where the turn to the highway is!’
He then turned around and went back over the Queensboro Bridge to go up the highway.
I was watching his GPS, and as it was telling him to turn left to continue on Harlem River Drive, he made a right going back towards Queens over the RFK Bridge (which is a toll bridge by the way).
I then asked him, ‘Hey…why are we going back into Queens? This is very much the wrong way…my address is in Harlem.’
He shrugged and kept driving.
I immediately felt unsafe and called a friend to sit on the phone with me while I was dealing with this and shared my location.
You would think that someone who innocently made a wrong turn would turn around after crossing the bridge.
There were plenty of opportunities for him to do so, but instead of doing this, he got on the expressway.
At this point, I’m freaking out.
I’m in a car with a stranger and I have no clue where we are going.
He drives past LaGuardia and continues on the highway. I begged him to please pull over at an exit and turn around, but he didn’t respond and kept driving.
After I raise my voice at him and demand him to pull off, he obliges and we are deep into Woodside, Queens.
40 minutes away from my destination.
He pulls off on a secluded street and stops at the red light.
My door is locked, and he tells me not to get out. He claims that he is, ‘Getting me where I need to be safely.’
It was quite clear this man’s intentions were not good.
My friend on the phone with me was texting me and telling me I needed to leave the car now.
It wasn’t safe and this was a very sketchy situation.
I unlock the car and get out, telling him to end the ride.
I start walking away and this man follows me in his car.
He followed me slowly…
It wasn’t like he was just driving down the street.
Then he speeds up a bit, pulls over, and parks his car a little bit in front of me.
I run down a street and try to distance myself as much as possible from this man.
After about a 15-min run in an extremely dark and secluded area in Queens (I honestly had no idea where I was…my friend was giving me directions on her GPS based on my location), I ended up in a well-lit area with a food truck with a good amount of people around.
It is now almost 2:30 a.m.
Please keep in mind, I started this adventure around 1 a.m.
I ended up being able to catch a yellow cab from there and he drove me 40 minutes back to Harlem….my original location, and got home a little after 3 a.m.
I have included his picture and his license plate number here for you all.
If you match with him, report him and decline the ride.
I am okay.
Shaken, but okay.
Shout out to my friend, Kate, who was on the phone with me the whole time and helped me think through the situation.
I am working with Lyft to get my refund and properly report the driver.
It’s been a process, but I am working on it.
Stay safe, friends!
Always take a yellow cab!”
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