On Friday, October 21, 2016 a Lyft driver was shot multiple times during a robbery on Chicago’s west side. From the article:
About 7 p.m. Friday, a 23-year-old man was shot in the 5000 block of West Monroe Street in the Austin neighborhood, a police spokesman said. The victim was a Lyft driver who was shot as many as four times, including at least once in the stomach, a source said.
The man was in a vehicle and stopped when someone on foot approached and announced a robbery before firing shots and fleeing. The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.
Think about that for a second.
Yes, it is as stupid as it sounds, it is completely ridiculous, and it borders on malpractice by a criminal. Rideshare drivers have no need to carry cash or anything of value. I might have as much as $2.63 in change scattered throughout my vehicle, and not in one easily accessible location. Did this clown-criminal think he was going to swipe the Lyft driver’s phone so the police could track him down and arrest him?
The clown-criminal could engage in almost any other criminal conduct and come out better than robbing a rideshare driver. Robbing a panhandler begging for change on the interstate off-ramps would offer a better ROI.
That Sunday, which was October 24, 2016, I had accepted a pickup that was on the 4900 block of West Monroe Street, a block away from the ominous location of the attempted robbery. This was after midnight and I had full knowledge of the shooting that occurred only a couple of days prior.
I began to feel extremely anxious and employed the following atypical behavior:
- Locked the doors
- Parked in the middle of the street, so I could watch my mirrors, and where I was being approached
- Turned off my music, so that I would be more aware
- Kept the manual transmission in 1st gear, with the clutch engaged, to take off quickly should I have needed to activate my “flight response”
As the minutes passed, and the longer that I waited, the more anxious I became. It got to the point where I was sure that I waited the requisite 5 minutes, heck it was probably 10 minutes! I hit “rider no-show”, effectively cancelling the ride request and scurried away as quickly as I could.
Just as I turned off West Monroe Street, I received a second ping from the same person at the same address. Nah, F*CK THAT (I thought). After denying the ride I turned the rideshare app completely off until I had escaped the immediate vicinity of the ping.
After a series of emails, I found out that I did not wait the requisite 5 minutes at 4900 West Monroe Street and that the rideshare company was not going to compensate me for lost time- I even inquired about hazard pay while forwarding the article, which was not acknowledged in the rideshare company’s final email response back to me. Asking for hazard pay was a ‘shot in the dark’ as rideshare customer service is a gravity well where only a tiny bit of useful information successfully escapes.
Peering back, the whole episode was odd. I don’t regularly read the police blotters. The feeling of anxiousness is usually a dull emotion within me; I can’t recall feeling that emotion with that level of intensity. And I have lived in the same Austin neighborhood for over 10 years, so I had something in common with the would-be passenger.
Please leave a comment below of something that unexpectedly made you anxious.