CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Lyft driver has been fired by the ridesharing service after she admitted to firing her legally-owned and licensed gun during an attempted carjacking.
Cynthia Norman said she picked up a pair of young men — likely in their 20s — at an apartment complex in Cleveland’s Nottingham neighborhood around 1:00 a.m. Sunday.
As she arrived at the destination, the NEO Sports Plant, formerly known as the Euclid Sports Plant, she became concerned as it appeared the facility was closed.
That’s when the ride turned violent.
“I had to fight with these two men. I had one choking me from the back,” Norman told 19 News.
Norman said the other passenger, breaking Lyft’s COVID-19 protocol, insisted on sitting in the front seat.
She said he started punching her in the face as the man in the backseat choked her.
She was driving a rental car and refused to back down.
“They didn’t know I was going to fight back,” she said.
Norman told 19 News she then grabbed her gun from the center console and started shooting.
The two men fled on foot, leaving behind the cell phone they stole from her.
It’s unclear if they were wounded.
Norman drove to the 5th district police station and reported the incident.
According to a police report obtained by 19 News, the men are facing attempted kidnapping and attempted aggravated robbery charges.
No arrests have been made.
Their Lyft profile didn’t offer any clues as to their identity, as they used the name, “NBA” and did not provide a picture.
It’s unclear if any surveillance video was captured during the incident.
Thankful she’s okay, Norman is frustrated that her supplemental income has been taken away by Lyft, which has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers carrying weapons -- even if they’re legally carried.
“What if you’re getting attacked? What are you supposed to do then?” she wondered.
A spokesperson for Lyft told 19 News the company stands by its decision.