LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Two men face charges after they are accused of attacking a Lyft driver Friday in Lakewood, police say.
The incident happened just before midnight Friday outside of Riverwood Cafe on Detroit Avenue near Riverside Drive, according to a police report.
James Seacrest III, 23, of Salem, and Andrew Brown, 24, of Tallmadge, face charges of assault and disorderly conduct. Seacrest also faces a charge of criminal damaging, Lakewood police Capt. Ed Hassing said.
Byron Larrosa, 33, of Sheffield Lake, said he was dropping off people at the cafe when Seacrest and Brown wanted a ride. He said they appeared drunk and refused to get out of his car, according to a police report.
Larrosa told them six to seven times to get out of his car. They slammed his door and got out. Larrosa approached them and asked why they slammed his door.
Brown grabbed Larrosa by the waist and pushed him to the ground. Brown and Seacrest stood over top of him and punched him several times in the face and on the right side of his rib cage, the report says.
Seacrest bit him in the neck and punched out the back window of his car, police said.
Several witnesses helped pull the attackers off the driver, the report says. Larrosa declined medical treatment.
“This has never happened before,” Larrosa said in an interview with cleveland.com. “You will have people that will get in your car and be drunk and not realize it isn’t their ride. They were pretty drunk; I tried to get them out then it became very confrontational.”
The incident won’t stop Larrosa from driving for Lyft.
“I do not want to have anything happen like that again because my vehicle is damaged,” he said. “There could have been a million other ways to handle this.”
Larrosa believes he suffered a concussion because he was up all night throwing up and felt “loopy” the next morning. He has yet to seek treatment.
“This was completely unnecessary,” he said.
“If a driver or passenger encounters a circumstance which threatens their personal safety we advise them to call the authorities by dialing 911,” according to a statement from Lyft. “We also encourage drivers and passengers to report any safety-related incidents to our critical response line, which is available 24/7, as soon as they can safely do so.”