GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - For the second time in less than a week, a local rideshare driver was violently attacked by passengers.
The victim says it started out just like any other night driving for Uber.
She had just picked up four young men who did not look older than 20 years old.
Before she knew it, they began violently beating her. She believes as a female Uber driver, she was targeted.
“Everything was just so fast and so sudden I just couldn’t think,” the victim recalled. “It was just fight or flight.”
This woman wanted to remain anonymous because she still fears for her safety.
She has been driving for Uber for a year and a half without any issues, but Friday night at around 9 p.m., her life got turned upside down.
She picked up four men at the corner of Cumberland Drive and Darlington Avenue in Garfield Heights.
She dropped them off just a few blocks away on Oak View Blvd.
“When I got to the destination they were like, ‘Oh it’s right here, it’s right here’ and as I stopped the car somebody swung and hit me in the back of the head and then they just started beating me in the head and then three of them got out of my car and one was left in so I tried to take off I got like halfway down the street struggling and fight with the boy that was left in my car and he just kept punching me in the head everywhere and finally he got the car in neutral got it shut off took my car key,” the driver said. “The other three boys caught up and they started all wailing on me.”
She says the men dragged her out of the car and left her bleeding and beaten on the ground. They stole her car, her cell phone, her wallet, everything.
“I was just praying I could get away,” the driver recalled. “I just wanted to get away and once they left, I was just trying to crawl to somebody’s house for help.”
Eventually, a man nearby called 911.
“I have bruises on my body, contusions,” she said. “I have a concussion.
Police found her car Sunday on the east side of Cleveland.
“The whole back of my car is damaged,” the driver said. “They must’ve backed into something or hit something the police said. It’s not driveable. It sounds like the whole underbody is like gonna fall apart.
She doesn’t believe her insurance company or Uber will cover the damage.
“I have no job anymore because I’m certainly not going to be Ubering so I have no job,” she explained. “I have nothing. I have my life and that’s the most important. I could’ve been killed, but I have my life, and I have my family’s support and my sons.”
She’s been having a tough time knowing her attackers are still out there.
“I’m very angry now,” she said. “I was very upset before, and now I’m really angry and want them caught and punished because I don’t want this to happen to somebody else. I don’t want them to have to go through what I went through because it’s definitely not a pleasant experience.”
She has a warning for all women driving for companies like Uber and Lyft.
“Don’t do it,” she said without hesitation. “It’s not worth it. It’s definitely not worth it. Find a different job.”
19 News asked Uber if they would be covering the damage to the victim’s car.
They said it just happened and they don’t believe the insurance company has gotten involved yet, but that every driver has standard coverage and can opt-in for additional coverage.
The company also sent us a statement that reads in part, “What the driver reported is terrifying, and we stand ready to support the police investigation. We have been in contact with the driver to offer our support and will continue to work with her.”
This woman is still struggling to make ends meet after losing her job and she’s trying to figure out how to pay for her car.
Garfield Heights Police are still searching for the suspects.
If you have any information, contact police.