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Portland Lyft driver banned for carrying stun gun in her car

File image MGN

A Portland woman said she was banned from working as a Lyft driver because she defended herself from a threatening passenger. Now, she's hoping her story will persuade the ride share company to evaluate their non-lethal weapons policy.

The part-time Uber and Lyft driver, who asked to remain anonymous, says it was her last ride of the night. She was driving past Jantzen Beach when one of her two passengers in the backseat vomited in her car. That part, she says, is not A-typical.

"I've had, you know, some weird experiences but it's never been... I never felt like I was in danger," she said.

According to the woman, the other passenger started complaining about paying a damage fee for his friend and things quickly escalated.

"After several minutes of me adamantly saying, 'You need to exit my vehicle. Get out of my car! Get out of my car!' He refused and he kept trying to intimidate me. He was hovering above me in the passenger seat. I finally said if you don't get out of my vehicle, I'm going to grab my Taser."

The woman grabbed the stun gun. She says the sound alone scared the man out.

She reported the damage to Lyft, adding that she had used a stun gun to protect herself. That's when she says she was told she violated their weapons policy and was banned as a driver.

"I don't know what I could have done differently and not put myself in more danger," she continued.

In a statement to KATU News, a spokesperson for Lyft writes,

"Lyft has a strict 'no weapons' policy. This means that if a driver or passenger possesses a weapon of any sort in a Lyft, they will be removed from the platform."

The Portland woman says she admits she should have read up on the policy and not assumed Lyft took the same stance as Uber. While Lyft deploys a strict no weapons policy, Uber only prohibits drivers from carrying firearms.

"This is a huge safety issue because it's the drivers a lot of times who are in danger picking up strangers (and) often times, more than one," she said.

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