LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– A local Lyft driver shared his story with 8 News Now Friday after he said a rider attacked him in downtown Las Vegas.
“I was scared to death,” Marchelo Smith said of the experience.
Smith said a routine night behind the wheel turned into a moment he will never forget.
“I thought I was going to end right there,” Smith explained.
The Lfyt driver told 8 News Now he was picking up a Lyft ride downtown on Dec 21, 2021, when Smith was assaulted; now he’s nervous to go back to work.
“I said ‘hey man, brother, remember I was telling you to keep your mask on?”‘ Smith recalled.
Smith said he asked his riders to put their masks on, which is company protocol, according to Lyft’s website.
That’s when he told 8 News Now both men became agitated, so he canceled their ride and asked them to get out of his car, but their anger only escalated.
“He said I told you we had the f-ing masks,” Smith recalled, speaking about one rider. “And then he started strangling me.”
Smith described how one passenger reached into his car and attacked him, leaving him overwhelmed and shaken.
“He’s like this on me,” Smith described, reenacting the attack. “And for 12 seconds.”
8 News Now reached out to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police on Friday regarding this case.
Officers said they identified the suspect and added that the case was reported and investigated as misdemeanor battery. No word on whether any charges were filed.
“People get drunk. They act,” Smith said. “They throw up in the car, but to be strangled?”
Now, he said he is just hoping to send a message to other drivers and riders always to keep an eye out and stay safe.
“Don’t try to kill me,” Smith concluded. “Because I am telling you to protect yourself and me.”
8 News Now reached out to Lyft about this incident on Friday. A spokesperson responded over email said they were looking into it and would get back to us.