Lyft passenger files suit against driver who threatened to ‘blast’ him with a gun


(Brandon Bhangoo) #1

Around 2 am on September 1, Charlie Calvin, 31 requested a ride using Lyft's ride share app after leaving the Sidetrack nightclub in the Lakeview East neighborhood of Chicago. Jaleesa Rance, (pictured) 25 responded to the request and soon arrived to pick up Calvin and an unidentified passenger.

The ride started out normally but soon a "heated argument" erupted. The cause of the argument is unclear. Calvin's lawyer says it was the result of him and his passenger pointing out that Rance had made a wrong turn.

Rance is said to have allegedly pulled a Smith & Wesson from the vehicle's center console, pointed it at Calvin and yelled, "Get out of my (expletive) car."

Calvin and the other passenger got out of Rance's vehicle around the 400 block of West Melrose Street. The lawsuit claims, according to Calvin, Rance allegedly followed them out of the vehicle and said. "I'll blast you" along with a homophobic slur.

Bryant Greening, a LegalRideshare attorney filed a lawsuit on behalf of Calvin seeking $50,000.

Greening also made the following statement "Lyft promises a safe, weapons-free, discrimination-free experience. The company failed our community when its driver allegedly pointed a gun at the faces of two young men because of their sexual orientation. Guns, violence, and homophobia are recurrent ride-share issues yet; the ride-share companies seem to lack the motivation to protect passengers and drivers,"

A statement provided by Lyft said the following regarding the incident. "The behavior being described violates multiple Lyft policies, including our non-discrimination and no weapons policies. As soon as this incident was reported to us, we deactivated the driver and reached out to the passenger to offer our assistance."

Rance had a valid concealed carry license and firearm owner's identification card.

Case investigators charged her with aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon. Her case is pending.