A Lyft driver in Queens, New York was violently attacked by a belligerent passenger on Thursday after refusing to speed through traffic — and the altercation was captured in a distressing dash cam video.
Police are still searching for the suspect, identified in the video as “Georgie,” who entered the 2017 Ford Explorer with a female companion. The pair had asked Eduardo Madiedo to drive them to Mount Sanai hospital in Astoria, according to NBC News 4 New York.
A four-minute dash cam video shows Madiedo driving as the man begins to moan in pain. He then lies down in the backseat of the car. The woman, meanwhile, sits quietly by his side with her arm resting on his shoulder.
At the two-minute mark, the distressed passenger pulls off his sweatshirt and demands that Madiedo “drive faster, please!”
“I’m sorry, man,” the driver responds. “I can’t get in front of the cars that are in front of me.” The passenger asks why, and Madiedo points out that the road is blocked with traffic.
The man then starts swearing and insisting that Madiedo weave through the traffic to get him to the hospital faster. That prompts the driver to say, “Excuse me, man, if you’re going to be disrespectful, I’ll just pull over right now.”
Suddenly, the man pounces from the backseat, savagely attacking Madiedo with barrage of punches as he tries to navigate the Lyft car and fend off his attacker at the same time. The passenger even partially climbs into the front seat to pummel the defenseless driver as the woman yells, “Georgie, stop!”
Madiedo eventually manages to pull his car over to the side of the road, and the passengers get out. The driver appears shaken as he tries to collect himself.
"Something triggered him and he just punched me in the back of the head all of a sudden. It was really unexpected," Madiedo told WCBS 880. "The car was in motion, I guess that was my main concern when it was happening was not to crash the car.”
He continued, “When he punched me, he knocked my glasses off, I couldn't really see that well. That was my concern, not to hit anybody else or crash my car and make things worse."
Madiedo also told NBC that the attack made him feel “less than human almost.”
The suspect was later banned by Lyft, and police are still searching for him. Madiedo refused medical attention after the beating, according to the New York Post, but the assault made him reconsider his Lyft gig.
He told WCBS 880, “I feel like I have to look for a new job or a new form of income.”
Madiedo isn’t the first Lyft driver to make headlines after being attacked by a passenger. In August 2018, a driver identified as Robert was severely beaten by four passengers in South Los Angeles who also took his wallet and $700 worth of property from the car, according to NBC Los Angeles.
The suspects, who crashed and totaled the car, were later arrested, and police labeled the incident a carjacking.
And just last month, a Lyft driver in Pittsburgh was attacked by a passenger for moving too slowly, just like Madiedo, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. That driver was also not seriously injured.
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