Woman says Lyft driver tried to kidnap her

Jeanette Mitchell was on her way to work when she started having car trouble and decided to take a Lyft. Moments later, she was running for her life.

Mitchell, a Houston mom, shared the harrowing story of almost getting kidnapped by her Lyft driver during a Facebook Live broadcast early Tuesday morning, shortly after the incident.

While on her way to work, Mitchell says she started having car trouble and opted to take a Lyft instead.

“I was on my way to work, dropping my baby girl off at school and my car started acting up,” she explains.

When she got into the vehicle, Mitchell says the driver started using back roads and making unnecessary turns, which immediately put her on edge. When she questioned him about the unusual route, he kept telling her to be quiet and reassured her that he “knows what he is doing.”

At one point, she says the driver pulled up behind a truck, and a man, who she describes as being Black with braids, opened a gate to a warehouse and directed the driver to enter. That is when Mitchell decided she had to run away.

“I’m telling y’all to be safe out here, I had to get out the car and run,” she recalls, visibly shaken.

Mitchell safely made her way to a nearby gas station, where she called the police. She is now urging everyone to share the video and remain vigilant.

“Anybody who is riding in an Uber or a Lyft, be careful,” she says.

Posted by Jeanette Mitchell on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

One Twitter user heeded Mitchell’s call to share her story by posting the now-viral video on Twitter.

“Please share this video for awareness. Women please be safe it’s getting crazy out here in Houston. Women are being approached by sex traffickers & this woman was almost kidnapped by a Lyft driver near Richmond & Dunvale. Ladies please watch your surroundings and be careful!!!!!!” Twitter user @Niqki_Smith wrote, along with the video.

Some users are responding to the story by offering self-defense advice.

“Ladies be careful if you’re in the backseat y’all could put your arm around their neck y’all need to start fighting back. As soon as you feel unsafe call the police break windows anything to try to get outta the car,” Twitter user @Gabbie59588217 wrote.

Another suggested an app that alerts family members if you have an emergency.

“Everyone. Download this. This is a panic button. You pull up the app. Press it and it sets off an alert to the police. So if your in a situation that you can’t call. Use this. It definitely works. My daughter accidentally set it off one night and I got a call back to make sure,” @KKilpatrickk_ wrote.

Others are calling on Lyft to take measures to make customers safer.
“@lyft @AskLyft what y’all doing about these situations? Maybe make a feature where riders can send an alert if their driver is being sketchy not letting them out the car or taking a suspect alternate route” that way women aren’t just gone without a trace in these situations,” another user questioned, tagging Lyft in the tweet.

According to Mitchell’s latest update on Facebook, Houston police are currently investigating the incident.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Jeanette Mitchell.

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Tiffanie Drayton

Tiffanie Drayton

Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.