Lyft driver held captive by his ranting fare, remains poised while biting his lip.
A Lyft driver may be the world's most patient man after he accepted a ride request from a group of club-goers at a New York City gay bar this week.
The driver, Shaun Pepas Lettman, picked up Robert Ortiz and two friends only to suffer a barrage of insults, accusations of homophobia and racial profiling. The excitement was all captured on Lettman's camera phone, the video of which has gone viral.
The video starts with Ortiz on the phone with police after Lettman stops the car apparently because he wouldn't change the music on the radio for him. After that call, Ortiz calls Lyft itself lamenting that he's being recorded and he felt threatened by the driver who thus far has remained calm and silent for nearly 11 minutes.
“I came out of a gay club and your driver is racist against gay people,” the passenger says.
Ortiz continues his diatribe saying he's going to sue the ridesharing company, and that they need to reimburse him for the $8.01 and send him another car for free.
The irate passenger, still upset that he's being recorded, insists he called the police "to protect myself because I know my legal rights as an American citizen that voted for Trump.”
He then begins to use racial and homophobic epithets against Lettman during another phone call with a friend.
“Yo, Boo, tell me why I’m in a Lyft and the n***a f**king pulled over,” Ortiz says, “The n***a’s recording me without my consent because I asked for music.”
The ever-patient Lettman does interject briefly only to point out that there is a sticker on the passenger door that informs riders they will be recorded.
Unsure of his future, Lettman created a GoFundMe page to at least prepare for what lie ahead. Of the $20K he requested, donations have soared to over $24,000.
“After the end of the video, I had to also call the police for myself expressing my concerns and fear of what will happen if I was not assisted,” the driver wrote on the donation page. “Luckily there was no physical confrontation but the company I drive with felt it necessary to cancel my account pending investigation. Unfortunately, expenses weren’t suspended and I am left to dig myself out of an awfully stressful predicament.”
Lettman updated his fundraising page to say that he is happy to remain driving for Lyft and to thank everyone for their support.
"I just wanted everyone to know that I really appreciate all your kind words and I really thank each and everyone for their donations. All donations received will assist me in catching up on expenses such as rent and car payments. Also I have heard some rumors about a lawsuit coming my way from the use of the video captured on my phone and I want to be fully prepared if that does happens."
As for Ortiz, he has been reportedly fired from his job while Lettman is still driving for Lyft.
You can watch the NSFW (language) below.