Tag: Lyft

Glenroy Cornelius Tannis Horowitz Law

Broward County Lyft Driver, Glenroy Cornelius Tannis, Accused of Raping Unconscious Female Passenger Gets Released From Jail

Glenroy Cornelius Tannis, a Lyft driver in Broward County, was arrested May 23 for allegedly sexually assaulting an unconscious woman during a ride in his SUV back in January. Tannis faces two charges of sexual battery on a helpless victim. On June 2, 2022, Tannis, 42, was released from the Broward County Jail after posting bonds totaling $175,000. Part of his release conditions was that he is no longer permitted to work for any ride-share service.

According to media reports, Tannis picked up a woman who requested a Lyft ride on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, around 3 am on January 12, 2022. The victim, who was in town from Wisconsin, was out with friends that evening and wanted to go back the AirBnB apartment in Pompano Beach that she had rented. The arrest report also states that the victim’s friend made sure she got in the matched silver 2016 Ford Explorer that appears in the Lyft app before helping her in. The report says that the woman fell asleep in the back seat of the SUV during the ride. An hour later, she woke up groggy and half undressed with Tannis allegedly on top of her and forcing her to perform a sex act.

The vicitm realized she was near her AirBnB destination, got out of the vehicle, and ran to the apartment. She called a friend, cried, and told them what had happened. When she arrived home to Milwaukee, she told her local police what happened in Florida and they directed her to a sexual assault treatment center to collect DNA evidence. She also told the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and detectives later identified Tannis and the SUV. The vicitm flew back to South Florida in March to help with the investigation and identified Tannis from the photographs the police presented to her. The DNA sample proved to be a match with Tannis and he was arrested about a month later.

Tannis has been permanently barred from any ride share service, including Lyft and Uber. Lyft offered no comment. A recent report released by Lyft revealed that the ridesharing platform received 4,158 reports of sexual assault between 2017 and 2019. During those three years, the company said there were 360 reports of rape and ten deaths by physical abuse. 

Lyft customers have an expectation of proper vetting of their drivers for qualifications, as well as for safety.  Many rideshare passengers are critical that Lyft has not employed technology to deter sexual misconduct and ensure the safety of their passengers.  It is unacceptable that there are employees who take advantage of trusting riders and break the law.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual assault claims on behalf of clients throughout the country against ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.  If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during an Uber or Lyft ride, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Kevyn Rojas Horowitz Law

Miami Lyft Driver Arrested For Alleged Rape of Intoxicated Passenger

Kevyn Rojas, a 26-year-old Lyft driver from Miami Beach, was arrested on Tuesday, March 1, for allegedly raping a female tourist during a late-night ride two nights prior. According to media reports, on Sunday, February 27, 2022, around 4:20 am, a woman visiting Miami from Texas ordered a Lyft ride from a Wynwood bar to the Berkeley Shore Hotel in Miami Beach, where she was staying.

Kevyn Rojas arrived to pick her up in a Mitsubishi Galant a few minutes later. The victim told Miami-Dade police that she got in the backseat of Rojas’ car. Rojas commented on her blue dress in Spanish. During the drive back to her hotel, the victim fell asleep and woke up when she heard the arrival notification that went off on her phone’s app. But Rojas drove past the hotel and parked the car nearby. Kevyn Rojas allegedly jumped into the backseat and got on top of the woman. He allegedly pulled her dress up, took off her underwear, and proceeded to rape her against her will. According to law enforcement records, she told him no and tried to stop his sexual advances, but she was too intoxicated and not as strong. After several minutes of the assault, Rojas got back into the driver’s seat and took her back to her hotel. The woman immediately called the police, and Rojas was identified through her Lyft app trip history and city cameras near her hotel. 

The arrest reports state that the surveillance footage was consistent with the victim’s statement. Rojas was charged with sexual battery on a physically helpless victim. According to public records, he was also arrested in 2020 for aggravated assault, but the charges were dropped. A judge set his bond at $500,000, ordering him to stay away from the woman and turn over his Colombian and United States passports.

Lyft has permanently barred Rojas from its platform, a spokesperson confirmed, stating, “Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and the behavior described is appalling. The driver has been permanently removed from the Lyft community, and we stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation in any way we can.”

A recent report released by Lyft revealed that the ridesharing platform received 4,158 reports of sexual assault between 2017 and 2019. During those three years, the company said there were 360 reports of rape and ten deaths by physical abuse. 

Lyft customers have an expectation of proper vetting of their drivers for qualifications, as well as for safety.  Many rideshare passengers are critical that Lyft has not employed technology to deter sexual misconduct and ensure the safety of their passengers.  It is unacceptable that there are employees who take advantage of trusting riders and break the law.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual assault claims on behalf of clients throughout the country.  An employee of any company is never permitted to have unwanted sexual contact with a customer. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during an Uber or Lyft ride, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Lyft Horowitz Law

Lyft Announces It Received More than 4,000 Reports of Sexual Assault in First Safety Report

Lyft Releases Safety Report and New Measures: Are They Enough?

On October 21, 2021, Lyft released its long-awaited Community Safety Report that “details the frequency of the most serious safety incidents” and outlines policies designed to protect riders and drivers alike.  

According to the report, the ridesharing platform received 4,158 reports of sexual assault between 2017 and 2019. During those three years, the company said there were 360 reports of rape and ten deaths by physical abuse. 

Fifty-two percent of riders reported sexual assaults, while 38 percent of drivers made reports, the report reads. The remaining 10 percent were made by third parties, which included “law enforcement officials, regulators, family, friends or the media.”

While the company claims the rate of sexual assaults has decreased by 19 percent over those three years, Lyft acknowledges the true number of assaults is likely underestimated, given assaults are not always reported. 

Lyft’s report comes nearly three years after the company pledged to publish a sexual assault report in response to Uber’s 2018 announcement stating it collected more than 3,000 sexual assault reports. Lyft—which had previously represented itself as the socially aware alternative to Uber—has since faced a barrage of scrutiny for its mishandling of sexual assault reports. 

Understanding Lyft’s safety report requires an orientation into the problems facing riders, as well as the solutions they’re pushing for. 

The Problem: A Landscape of Unmitigated Abuse

Ineffective background searches, failures to remove abusive drivers, and the absence of meaningful support after reporting assaults drove dozens of victims to file lawsuits against Lyft.

One activist, who claims she was kidnapped and raped by her Lyft driver, says after she reported the assault, the driver remained on the app, and Lyft still made her pay for the ride. 

Another woman says that after she reported the abuse, Lyft responded: “We’re sorry for the inconvenient ride—we hope your next ride is better.” 

Not only do these accounts showcase how dismissed victims feel after reporting abuse, these instances underscore the challenges riders face both during and after their ride. Accordingly, Lyft’s enumeration of its safety policies is organized in three stages: before the ride, during the ride, and after the ride. 

Before the Ride

Before drivers are cleared to pick up riders, Lyft says it conducts background checks on applicants, which is later followed by annual checks and continuous monitoring that alerts them of any new offenses or convictions.

In addition to monitoring, Lyft also requires drivers to complete a community safety education course that covers respecting boundaries, defusing uncomfortable situations, and how to report incidents to Lyft. 

While training is a step forward, they do nothing to stop drivers who already intend to abuse their passengers. Alternatively, survivors call for more proactive measures like audio or visual recordings of drivers in cars to deter misconduct, or fingerprint-based background checks to avoid use of fake identities. 

During the Ride

In its report, Lyft says riders can share their location with others and connect with ADT security during uncomfortable situations. Lyft also checks in with riders when a ride seems to veer off path or has stopped for too long. 

While this approach appears to increase transparency, it places the responsibility of safety on the riders and their loved ones. With Lyft’s measures, it is on the rider and the ones they “share” their trips with to monitor the driver’s behavior and report any mishaps. 

This idea is evidenced in much of Lyft’s language surrounding safety and reporting. On its site, Lyft implores its “travelers” to “become the best kind of stranger.” In describing its safety tools, language like “know who’s picking you up” and “get emergency help” read like a self-help guide rather than a promise to support and protect. 

Preventing sexual violence goes beyond empowering individuals and their loved ones to be more vigilant and active; trainings and transparent reporting alone is insufficient in preventing harm. Solutions require companies like Lyft to address their role in a system that often complicates victims’ path to recovery and redress. 

After the Ride

Once a ride has ended, Lyft says it hides passenger information from the driver and allows the passenger to report anything they think Lyft should investigate. Further, Lyft says it also provides mental health support to riders, as well as resources for reporting incidents to law enforcement. 

However, this support wasn’t always available, according to lawsuits filed against Lyft in the last few years. In addition to treating victims dismissively, some victims have accused the company of trying to silence them. 

In December 2020, 19 women sued the company for working to hide, ignore, and dismiss their complaints. Other victims took to Twitter to share Lyft’s responses to their reports, including a $5 credit. 

These responses, paired with Lyft’s burden-shifting language, suggest riders carry additional responsibilities throughout each part of their journey with Lyft, as if they’re on this journey alone.