- December 21, on Plank Road, a Lyft driver says he experienced what most rideshare workers fear. He says he was violently attacked by a passenger.
- Thursday afternoon, Terrence Lindsey appeared in Winnebago County Court on charges of substantial battery, criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct, and obstructing an officer in this case.
- Watch the video to see dashcam footage from the night of the attack.
(The following is an expanded transcription of the full broadcast story)
December 21, on Plank Road, a Lyft driver says he experienced what most rideshare workers fear. He says he was violently attacked by a passenger.
I'm your Menasha Neighborhood Reporter Darby McCarthy, speaking with that driver about what happened that night.
And a warning: Some of the dashcam footage included in this story could be difficult for some to watch.
“On Thursday I was I was attacked by this ride-sharing passenger. It was my first and last ride of the night,” said Lucas Breedlove.
Breedlove has an eye injury, a chipped tooth, facial fractures, foot fractures, a lot of bruising, and he's healing from a concussion that's left him with light sensitivity after an encounter with a Lyft rider last week.
But he says he'd rather it have been him than someone else.
“Thankfully it wasn't some, like, elderly person, or you know, somebody that was, had more of a petite build,” he said.
“I have pretty close to just shy of 12,000 rides over the last eight years between both of the platforms,” said Breedlove, speaking of his experience driving for both Uber and Lyft.
"And has anything like this ever happened before?" I asked.
"No," he said.
Breedlove said he's had police help remove passengers who were too intoxicated to exit his ride themselves, but no unruliness has risen to this level of extreme with him before.
"I enjoyed providing a service to people, helping to try to keep drunk drivers off the road as well as help people get you know, pick up their prescriptions pick up their groceries," said Breedlove.
However, he says all it takes is one traumatic incident to end an eight-year career.
“I don't foresee myself giving any rides for a period of time, if not indefinitely,” he said.
Thursday afternoon, Terrence Lindsey appeared in court for a bond hearing in this case. He's been charged with substantial battery, criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct, and obstructing an officer.
Breedlove said the night they met, he had a bad feeling.
“When I pulled up to his address on Plank Road. Something felt really off. He didn't get in my car for about two to three minutes. But once he entered my vehicle, he was pretty escalated and visibly upset that the Dollar Tree had closed before I had arrived,” Breedlove recalled. "And then he wanted to go to Jitters thereafter."
Jitters is a bar in Menasha.
In the video, you can see Lindsey grow frustrated, and Breedlove tells him that he is canceling the ride.
Lindsey grabs a tablet out of the back of one of Breedlove's car seats, and Breedlove exits to ask for it back.
That's when you can see Lindsey swing at him.
And after Breedlove was down on the ground, he says the kicks kept coming.
"My thoughts going through my head during that attack was, you know, 'I'm not going to see my loved ones. I'm not going to be spending Christmas with people that I care about.' I honestly thought I was going to die," he said.
Breedlove said he fears that this sort of encounter could happen again because Lyft and Uber do not require background checks on their riders. They also do not allow drivers to carry any devices considered to be weapons, including pepper spray.
"And I think that's a disservice to our drivers," said Breedlove, "because they have no way to protect themselves. If you're not going to be doing background checks on riders, then how are us drivers supposed to feel safe having you in our car?”
I reached out to Lyft for comment, and a spokesperson had this statement to share:
"The reprehensible behavior described has no place in the Lyft community. The rider's account has been permanently removed from our platform, and we have been in touch with the driver to offer our support. We are also assisting law enforcement in their investigation."