MEDFORD, Ore. — Mary Carolin has been a Lyft driver in the valley for nearly a year. Since then, she was almost sexually assaulted, and this week, she had the scare of her life when she picked up a man police were looking for.
Police say Sedale Threets was involved in a robbery at a Medford hotel at the beginning of September.
Earlier this week, surveillance video caught Threets leaving a home and getting into Carolin’s Lyft.
Not long after she picked him up, she was stopped by police on McAndrews and Ross Ln.
“Guys are just swarming my car yelling and screaming, ‘get your hands up!’ I can see guns everywhere and I’ve got my hands up and I’m yelling at [Threets] ‘what the hell did you do? What did you do?” Carolin said. “Then I’m yelling at the cops because I’ve got a gun at my window, I’ve got a gun here, here, here, here all the way around and I’m just yelling, ‘Please don’t shoot me, I’m just the Lyft driver.”
Carolin says when she decided to become a Lyft driver, she knew there could be dangerous being a female rideshare driver.
She says more needs to be done to protect drivers like there are to protect passengers.
Lieutenant Mike Budreau with Medford Police says they practice all traffic stops, even if it involves a rideshare vehicle, the same.
He says it’s not often they see rideshares get involuntarily involved in criminal activity.
He says is a driver ever feels like they’re in an unsafe situation, the best thing to do is stop the car and call 911.
Blakely McHugh is a weather forecaster and reporter for NBC5 News. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA.
Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors.
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