Man sues Lyft after being beaten with stiletto in ‘homophobic attack’ by fellow passenger
A man has launched a lawsuit against the mobile taxi-hailing service Lyft after he was allegedly beaten with a stiletto shoe in a “homophobic attack” by a fellow passenger.
Jose Gonzalez claimed that he was left with bloody wounds after being attacked in a taxi by a separate passenger who was pooling the fare with him.
The 57-year-old is also suing the passenger who allegedly attacked him.
Gonzalez explained that he had left a gay club in Miami Beach on January 6 and hailed a taxi on the app.
He used the pooling option, which puts you in a taxi with a passenger going to a similar destination, meaning that your ride is cheaper because the fare is split.
Gonzalez was in the front seat when the woman who “attacked” him got into the back seat.
He says that she became enraged and shouted anti-gay slurs.
Gonzalez responded, and then she allegedly began to beat him in the head with a high heel shoe.
“When I saw the blood, I started screaming, ‘Look, look I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding’.”
“I was, I was in shock,” Gonzalez said. “I could never expect something to happen like that.”
Gonzalez claims that his attacker left the vehicle and the Lyft driver did not contact the police, rather they took Gonzalez straight to his home.
Reynaldo Martinez, Gonzalez’s attorney, explained: “The fact of the matter is, the person got out of the vehicle, the driver did not look or think of letting the police know the direction they were heading, did not call police.
“In fact, just continued to take Jose home. It wasn’t until he got home that his roommate called the police.”
Gonzalez said that he has launched the lawsuit because he wants to combat anti-LGBT discrimination.
“It’s not that much love that she has, and I really feel sorry for her,” he said.
Martinez added that it was important for his client to contribute some level of protection to the community.
“It’s about Jose, it’s about protecting the LGBTQ community, but it’s about protecting everybody who gets inside one of those vehicles,” he said.
In a statement released by Lyft, they said that they did not tolerate the kind of behaviour that Gonzalez faced.
“There is no place in the Lyft community for discrimination or violence of any kind. As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we immediately deactivated the individual accused of this behaviour,” a spokesperson said.
The US mobile taxi service fired the driver who worked in Atlanta, Georgia, after they went made a number of homophobic comments to their passenger.
Austin Vaden, the passenger in the Lyft taxi, told PinkNews how the driver told him that she believed being gay was a choice.
She also said that she believed the Government was making children gay by putting something in immunisations shots that are administered.
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Vaden told PinkNews that he was shocked by the driver’s behaviour.
“I’m barely ever at a loss for words, but when she kept going on and on about homosexuality being a choice and how vaccinations were making men gay, I had no idea what to say.
“When people believe things that crazy, you aren’t going to change their minds in a 10-minute drive.”