A Florida man was arrested after attacking his Lyft driver for having a coronavirus safety precaution installed in his vehicle.
Travis Smith, 36, was caught on video getting into a physical altercation after getting angry because the driver had a plastic barrier between the front and backseat as a safety protocol due to the coronavirus pandemic, reported WFLA.
Smith, who Flagler County Sheriff deputies said was intoxicated, can be heard questioning the driver about the divider.
At one point, Smith, who was traveling with a friend and the friend’s seven-year-old child, called the driver a “liar.”
Smith, who was not wearing a face mask, then suddenly ripped the partition down, lunged at the driver, who was wearing a mask, and put him in a chokehold.
With the vehicle still in motion, the passengers exited the car as the child is heard screaming. The fight continued in the street, with the driver returning to bring the car to a full stop.
When Flagler County Sheriff deputies arrived at the Palm Coast intersection they found Smith and the driver still fighting.
Smith initially told deputies the driver was driving recklessly and only grabbed him in order to get him to pull over.
However, after viewing dash cam video that the driver had in the vehicle, the deputies determined Smith was lying.
“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, including a hematoma on his head.
Smith was charged with battery and child abuse, due to putting the life of the seven-year-old in danger, and released on $7,500 bond, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s office.
Smith has also been banned from using Lyft.
"The health and safety of our community is fundamental to Lyft, and the incident described is deeply troubling," the ridesharing app said in a statement to First Coast News. "We have removed the rider from the Lyft community and stand ready to work with law enforcement."