PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh-area man says he was beat up by his Lyft driver, who he says has a lengthy criminal record.
Deandre Burrell, 32, is the Lyft driver accused of punching passenger Quinn Shannon in the mouth back in February.
Shannon filed a lawsuit against Burrell and Lyft on Friday and stated that he connected with Burrell because he needed a ride home from Shadyside.
Shannon says he got in the front seat of the Dodge Charger Burrell was driving. Shortly after that, in the 1100 block of South Negley Avenue, Shannon asked Burrell if he could change the radio station from sports talk to music. Shannon says Burrell got upset by the question, stopped the car and asked Shannon to get out.
Shannon told police they both exchanged some words and that’s when he says Burrell got out of the car and punched him. Shannon says he fell to the ground and noticed that his mouth was bleeding. Burrell apologized to Shannon and offered to take him to Mercy Hospital’s ER and pay for his medical expenses if he didn’t report the crime.
While at the hospital, Shannon says Burrell was monitoring him each time he used his cell phone as well as the conversations he was having with hospital staff as he was being treated.
Shannon says he was too scared to call police or tell any of the medical staff because of Burrell’s violent assault and hawkish presence at the hospital.
Burrell paid the $50 co-pay and drove Shannon home.
Burrell has an extensive criminal history involving crimes such as simple assault dating back to 2005. The lawsuit states that Lyft conducts a criminal background check, and according to their driver requirements, Lyft disqualifies driver applicants for violent crime or offenses.
The lawsuit goes on to say that Lyft knew or should have known that Burrell was previously charged and plead guilty for a crime of simple assault.
Burrell was initially charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct for this incident. The simple assault charge was later withdrawn after he plead guilty to the disorderly conduct charge.
An arbitration hearing is scheduled for Feb. 2 at the City County Building. KDKA’s Amy Wadas reached out to Lyft for a statement. They said they’re looking into the matter.