SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Lyft Driver in Sacramento says she was sexually assaulted by four men in her own car over the weekend.
Heidi says the men were drunk. It happened after she picked them up from a bar just before 4 a.m. on Saturday. This wasn’t the first time. She says female drivers are easy targets for sexual assaults.
Over the weekend, Heidi was pinged to pick up four men from the beer garden on K Street in downtown Sacramento. The Lyft ride took her to P and 15th Street.
In just a four-minute time span, Heidi says she was sexually assaulted and verbally abused. Now she is calling for more safety precautions for Lyft drivers.
“It was very scary, it was being sexually assaulted in your car, your place of work,” she said.
Heidi, who asked we not show her face, says her workplace became her worst nightmare.
“As women, we need to be more cautious,” she said.
From her back seat, she says men in their thirties started touching her and verbally harassing her.
“They were talking about smelling my private parts and things like that, and some really gross stuff,” she said.
She says she didn’t want to upset the four men or encourage further by canceling the ride and pulling over.
“I just kept saying, ‘it’s four minutes, it’s four minutes, just get them out of the car, get them out of the car,'” she said.
Once she dropped them off, she kept driving and didn’t file a police report until later that morning. Heidi said she needs to drive 10 hours a day because this is her only source of income.
“I have to drive, or I don’t have a place to live, I’ll be homeless,” Heidi said.
Heidi says assaults happen to female drivers all the time, usually when passengers are drunk. But we wanted to know Lyft is doing to keep drivers safe and secure.
Leaders with Lyft say, there is a roadside assistance and support team made available around the clock. But Heidi says that’s not enough.
“I think we should have cameras and a panic button for both rider and driver,” she said.
Lyft released a statement about the assault:
“Safety is fundamental to Lyft. What the driver described is unacceptable and the rider’s access to Lyft has been permanently removed. We have been in contact with the driver since the incident and we have reached out to the authorities to offer our assistance with their investigation.”
Moving forward, Heidi says she plans to carry mace and a taser with her at all times while driving.
The Sacramento Police Department said they are investigating Heidi’s report and are looking to identify the passengers involved that would face assault charges.