A Florida man attacked his Lyft driver Sunday morning out of anger over a plastic barrier installed for COVID-19 protection, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Flagler County deputies responded to an intersection in Palm Coast just after midnight Sunday morning to find the suspect, 36-year-old Travis Smith, fighting with the Lyft driver in the road.
Smith, who deputies said was visibly intoxicated, initially told deputies that he and his friend’s 7-year-old child were taking the Lyft home from Flagler Beach when the driver began driving recklessly.
In order to protect themselves, Smith claimed he grabbed the driver and forced him to pull over.
But when deputies reviewed the dash footage the driver had set up in his car, they determined Smith was lying.
The video shows Smith question the driver about the clear plastic partition that was installed due to COVID-19.
Smith became irate and suddenly attacked the Lyft driver while the vehicle was still in motion, the sheriff’s office said.
The 7-year-old in the car can be heard crying in fear during the attack.
As the drier slows down the vehicle, the passengers jump out.
“This drunk attacked an innocent driver and put numerous lives in danger,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “These rider-share services can quickly become dangerous and drivers should be cautious of who they let in their vehicle.”
The Lyft driver suffered minor injuries during the altercation, including a bruise on the side of his forehead.
Smith was arrested and charged with battery and child abuse, due to the 7-year-old child in the car at the time of the attack.