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Houston couple claims Lyft driver exposed himself, urinated in yard while picking wife up for ride

“She was trembling and crying to herself and saying, ‘Babe… what if I would’ve jumped into the car with him?'"

HOUSTON — A Houston woman who had ordered a rideshare to get to work said she was terrified when her Lyft driver exposed himself, played basketball half-nude, then urinated in front of her.

The entire incident was recorded on a neighbor’s surveillance camera.

Daniel Velasco’s wife, who didn’t want to be identified, ordered the Lyft just before 9 a.m. Friday. However, when the driver pulled up and she walked out to meet him, things got scary. 

Video shows the driver getting a basketball from his car. He then started shooting hoops in a neighbor’s driveway. Over the next few minutes, you hear the man cursing before his shorts fell, exposing his genitals, while he continues playing basketball. 

At one point the man is seen urinating on the road and Velasco said on himself too. The driver is then seen going back to his vehicle where he strips his shorts off and changes into a new pair.

Velasco’s wife, having seen all of this, ran back to her home to alert her husband.

“She barges in and she’s like, ‘Babe! I’m scared!'” Velasco said. “She was trembling and crying to herself and saying, ‘Babe… what if I would’ve jumped into the car with him?'”

Velasco said he walked outside with a gun and told the man to leave. The driver then could be heard on video repeatedly asking Velasco, “Would you like to cancel the trip?”

Velasco said he and his wife immediately contacted Lyft and after several back-and-forth messages, they learned his wife's account had been canceled because the driver reported being threatened by a gun. After further investigation, Lyft learned what really happened and terminated the driver. Velasco's wife's account was reactivated.

"Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and the behavior described is disturbing. After conducting an investigation, we permanently removed the driver's account from the Lyft platform," Lyft said in a statement to KHOU 11.

However, Velasco and his wife still had to pay for that unused ride and said the neighbor’s basketball hoop was broken by the driver. They’d like for Lyft to pay to fix it.  

“Lyft should make this right,” said Velasco.

They’re relieved they won’t have to deal with this particular driver again.

“The man shouldn’t be a driver no more. I mean I don’t wish jail or harm on anybody. Just… the man needs help.”

Lyft says their policy is as follows when a customer or driver makes a complaint:

As soon as a safety incident is reported to us, it is our policy to immediately reach out to the rider or driver to offer support.

Both riders and drivers can report incidents to our dedicated Safety team available through a 24/7 Critical Response Line so that we can take action -- including investigating, removing users from our platform, and working with law enforcement when appropriate -- to help to keep our community safe.

The Houston Police Department is investigating this incident as indecent exposure. 

Lauren Talarico on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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