Eziya Bowden, a 17-year-old teen from Raleigh, North Carolina, was taking a Lyft from work when she thought her safety was compromised.
During the Lyft ride, Bowden Eziya said that she felt a wave of uncertainty come over her. “If I’m riding with a stranger, I’m always nervous. But I knew, this… it was different.” When she entered the car she noticed it smelled like cigarettes. The driver who has yet to be apprehended, sprayed an unknown substance while she was in the car. Bowden didn’t think much of this action until the driver continued to spray the unknown substance, then rolled up his windows. Bowden knew there was something wrong, she said she was “very scared.” After the spray settled she described herself as feeling “warm and dizzy.”
Bowden didn’t know how to proceed but stated, “I was more so like, I’d rather get out this car than fall asleep in a car with this man I don’t really know.” She then made the choice to jump out the car while it was still in motion. She did not make it far before her driver caught up, but thankfully she was not taken. Instead he called the police and pretended to be a bystander. From then Bowden was taken from the scene to the hospital.
Lyft has been reportedly compliant in the investigation and indicated they are willing to help in anyway they can. The authorities have yet to press charges against the Lyft driver. Lyft has since refunded Bowden for her ride and blocked the driver from using their platform in the future. Raleigh police said there are no charges being filed in the incident.
According to a CNN report, Bowden is not reassured by the car services response.
“I don’t think that’s stopping him from anything else. It doesn’t really bring peace to me at all. As us young girls, or even women, we have to be very aware and safe of our surroundings. Cancel your ride and wait. Wait for somebody ‘cause honestly, I would’ve waited for my friend,” Bowden said.
Please stay safe and pay attention to your surroundings when utilizing ride share services.
By Amariyah Mallory, Freshman, Whitney Young