Lyft drivers respond to assault accusations

Published: Aug. 30, 2018 at 10:45 AM CDT
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The Lyft ride sharing service has quickly distanced itself from the Mandan driver accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

Corey Wickham is charged with two counts of gross sexual imposition after driving a woman home from a bar.

According to a Lyft spokesperson:

"These allegations are horrific. From day one, the safety of our community has been our number one priority - we have absolutely no tolerance for this behavior on the platform. We have reached out to the passenger to extend our full support and assistance, and permanently banned the driver as soon as we received this information. We stand ready to assist law enforcement with an investigation."

The drivers I spoke to say this is a sad situation, but they hope people don't lose trust in them because of one person’s actions.

Charges against a Lyft driver in our area has other drivers hoping it doesn't turn people away.

"Some predator out there wanting to do stuff like that and kind of tarnish the name for everybody is just kind of sickening and too bad," said one Lyft driver.

Most Lyft driver's do more than a dozen rides daily. Many we spoke to hope people don't fear ridesharing because of this incident.

"I hope not, but truthfully I do, I do think it will effect. Just because I mean, how could it not? It's kind of a catch 22. You need a ride but who are you going to get a ride from?" said Doug Dewall, Lyft driver.

People in the community are not faulting Lyft, but saying being vigilant is important.

"I think just being mindful that if you're alone, and it's late at night, maybe you should have somebody with you," said Gustavo San Jose, Bismarck.

They all agree the accused sex assault this weekend by a Lyft driver was surprising.

As for Wickham, he has been assigned James Loraas as a public defender on his case.

His next hearing is not scheduled yet.