FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Investigators with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office say a Lyft driver was attacked by one of his passengers, who was questioning the driver over his decision to install a plastic partition in his vehicle.
The incident, which happened Sunday around midnight, was recorded on the driver’s surveillance camera. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the passenger told deputies that the Lyft driver was driving recklessly, saying he grabbed the driver and forced him to pull over.
However, the video recorded on dash camera shows what deputies said was an intoxicated passenger, identified as Travis Smith, 36. It should be noted the dash camera footage provided by deputies had an incorrect time stamp of July 7, 2018, and an incorrect time.
Deputies said Smith’s friend and his friend’s 7-year-old son were both in the backseat. Amid the confrontation, the dome light inside the vehicle comes on.
- Driver: “Did you open the door, man?”
- Passenger: “Me? No.”
- Smith: “Nobody’s opened the door.”
Suddenly, Smith is seen ripping down the partition, attacking the driver while he’s driving, putting him in a chokehold. The child is heard screaming in the backseat. His father’s door — appears to have been ajar and flies open during the scuffle.
As the fight continues outside the car, the vehicle begins to roll away. The driver is forced to jump back inside to stop it.
Other drivers see what’s happening and call police.
Deputies said the Lyft driver had minor injuries. Smith was arrested and charged with battery and child abuse. He was released after posting a $7,500 bond.
Note: The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office had originally posted video of the incident that showed the face of the driver. The video has since been removed from its YouTube account, saying the victim requested his identity not be revealed.