San Bernardino attack could cost Lyft driver his sight

Local news

A man is recovering after a violent attack left him hospitalized last Saturday.

Alberto Avila, 55, was assaulted by passengers he picked up near the Rialto Metrolink station while driving for Lyft in San Bernardino, according to him and his family, including daughter Fabiola Avila.

The two passengers, a man and a woman, started getting aggressive with Avila, so he told them he was going to stop the car and let them exit.

When he opened the trunk to get their belongings, the passengers approached him and started striking him, Avila said.

Then, Avila was restrained by the woman while the man continued to hit him in the face, Avila said, adding that they stole his phone as well.

Avila’s right eye suffered the brunt of the damage, and his doctors say he has a 50% chance of losing his sight, he said.

“Safety is fundamental to Lyft,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. “The behavior described is appalling, and we have been in touch with the driver to offer our support. We have permanently removed the rider from the Lyft platform and stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.”

Avila and his family want to raise awareness of the dangers faced by Lyft drivers.

“At this point, it’s not just about him. He wants to make sure that there’s something done for the drivers, that they’re protected,” Fabiola Avila said.

The San Bernardino Police Department is investigating the attack.

Avila’s family has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for his medical expenses.

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