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Passenger Choked Lyft Driver Due to Plastic Partition

A man riding in a Lyft was accused of taking issue with the driver’s plastic partition between the front and back seats and assaulting the man while he was still navigating the car on the road.

Around midnight on August 2, 36-year-old Travis Smith and one of his friends who had a child in tow hailed a Lyft to drive them to Smith’s home.

When the riders got into the car and gave the driver the Palm Coast address where they wished to be dropped off, Smith allegedly began to question the reason the driver had a plastic barrier installed in the vehicle.

The driver reportedly told Smith that he had done so as an extra precaution against the possible spread of COVID-19.

After the vehicle was in motion, Smith allegedly ripped the plastic from its placement, put his arm around the driver’s throat, and punched him in the head repeatedly.

The driver reportedly had a hard time keeping the car from veering due to the alleged ongoing assault.

The authorities were notified about the incident, and deputies were dispatched to the parkway where the alleged assault had taken place inside the vehicle. The driver had pulled to the side of the road and come to a complete stop.

The people at the scene began to issue statements about what had taken place, and the affidavit reflects that Smith said that he became fearful for his safety because the car was being driven erratically, and that his reason for having physical contact with the driver was to protect himself from harm. It was additionally alleged that Smith appeared very drunk.

Since the vehicle was equipped with a surveillance camera on the dashboard, the deputies reviewed the portion of the video containing the time that Smith and the other riders were inside the car.

While viewing the footage, the authorities alleged that Smith had falsified his statement, as the video reportedly more closely depicted the narrative given by the driver.

Smith was taken into custody for suspicion of felony child abuse because the juvenile was present during the alleged attack, and misdemeanor battery for his purported physical expression of displeasure over the partition.

If you or someone you love is suspected of a criminal offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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