- A Lyft driver was arrested 12 days after police say he exposed himself to a teenage rider in the backseat of his car.
- The victim’s lawyer and family are blaming the company for not doing more to help.
- A Lyft spokesperson said the company had proactively reached out to police when it first learned of the incident and has since barred the driver.
Lyft declined to help police identify a driver charged with exposing himself to a teenage girl and thereby added two weeks to their search for the driver, later named as Narinder Singh, the New York Post first reported on Thursday.
An NYPD spokesperson confirmed that the 25-year-old Lyft driver was arrested on October 24 and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, 12 days after the girl – who has not been identified – caught the incident on video.
The three-second clip, captured from the back seat, appears to show Singh masturbating in the driver’s seat.
“The reporting of crimes like this should not have so many impediments,” the victim’s lawyer said in a letter to the TLC, according to the Post. “It should not have taken 12 days to identify and arrest this perpetrator whose identity was being shielded by Lyft. Most importantly, the victim should not be made to feel that the privacy rights of the perpetrator supersede her rights as a crime victim.”
A Lyft spokesperson said the company reached out to police after it learned of the incident, letting them know its internal processes for these types of situations. “We won’t be able to provide any information without a valid subpoena, court order, or search warrant,” the company’s site says.
In a statement the company called the incident “horrific and deeply concerning”:
“Safety is Lyft’s top priority and the behaviour described has absolutely no place on our platform. Upon learning of the allegations, we permanently banned the driver from our platform, reached out to law enforcement to offer our assistance with their investigation, and have been in touch with the passenger’s family to extend our support. We stand ready to assist in law enforcement.”
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission confirmed that Singh’s licence has been suspended pending the outcome of his case and declined any further comment.
Singh is scheduled to appear in the Queens Criminal Court on December 6, according to state records. The phone number listed on the court’s website for his attorney, Gary Francis Miret, has been disconnected.
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