The ride share company Lyft has been subpoenaed in the attack on a New York city woman after the driver refused to tell police the name of the woman’s assailant.
The New York woman, Josephine Cruz Bradley, contacted Lyft for a ride to the Barclays Center on April 7 to attend a UFC fight. Cruz Bradley shared with police that the driver picked up two men in Brooklyn on their way. After getting into the Lyft vehicle, “one of them started to roll a blunt,” Cruz Bradley reported. “So I grew very concerned and I didn’t want to be affiliated with that.”
After informing the driver of the other passenger’s illegal activities (Lyft has a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy), Cruz Bradley says the man became angry, swearing at her before punching her in the face.
“He must have hit me at least three, four, five times,” said Cruz Bradley. “Mostly in that eye.”
Cruz Bradley did attempt to defend herself, but the unidentified male continued to punch.
“I kept thinking in my mind, ‘Don’t let him hit you again, don’t let him hit you again,'” she said.
The Lyft driver eventually stopped the car to get the two men out. The New York woman’s assailant punched her one more time before fleeing with his companion.
After New York city police arrived at the scene, Cruz Bradley recounted the events to the authorities. The Lyft driver however, would not assist in the investigation, telling police he is not allowed to disclose the passenger’s names, forcing the NYPD to subpoena this information.
“They can’t even start the investigation before getting a subpoena,” Cruz Bradley’s attorney, Brad Gerstman said.
A little over a month since the attack, the NYPD is still working to identify the two men and have yet to receive information through the long subpoena process.
“In real life, owners of a business step up. They tell police and explain what happened, but you’ve got the opposite here,” Gerstman said. “They’re blocking the police from doing their jobs to protect the citizens of New York.”
Since the incident, Cruz Bradley has been banned from using Lyft. A Lyft representative informed Cruz Bradley that “there are two sides to every story” and that “the decision to deactivate your account will remain final.”
Meanwhile, a Lyft spokesperson has released a statement in regards to Cruz’s case to NBC New York. “These allegations are extremely concerning. From day one, the safety of the Lyft community has been our top priority. We have deactivated both passengers while we investigate, and have reached out to the investigating officer to offer our assistance.”