FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – An argument over the volume of music in a South Florida Lyft driver’s car left the driver, Kevin Franklin, charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and the passenger contemplating legal action against the ride-sharing service.
Video of the attack was captured on the victim’s cellphone and provided to CBS4 News.
On the video you hear the passenger speaking as Franklin gets out of the car. A police report in the case said the driver pulled over during the trip at a Fort Lauderdale 7-Eleven to tell the passenger to get out of the car.
“He’s getting very angry at me for no reason,” the passenger is heard saying on the video. “I did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong.”
The video next shows Franklin at the passenger side door saying, “Get the (bleep) out of my car” and reaching inside the vehicle.
The victim, who did not want to be named, said he started recording because he didn’t want to be charged by Lyft for the ride.
On a second portion of the video provided to CBS4 News the victim is heard saying, “He’s hitting me. I feel very endangered!”
The video shows Franklin wielding some sort of object in his right hand. The victim believes it could be a tire iron or a metal baton of some sort. On the video Franklin says, “Get the (bleep) out my car. Get the (bleep) out my car, (bleep). What the (bleep) wrong with you?”
During this video, the victim says Franklin hit him on the hand with the object, knocking the cellphone to the ground. The video appears to show Franklin striking the phone with the object. The victim showed CBS4 News a large crack in the cellphone case.
The confrontation ended in about 20 seconds and this part of the encounter is all that is seen on the video. The whole thing happened during a weekend in March.
The victim said the whole thing started over the volume of music in the car because he was on a call with a client and asked Franklin to lower the music.
The victim said Franklin turned the volume down, but barely. Again, the victim asked to lower the volume and, again, he said Franklin turned it down a notch or two. That appeared to create some bad feelings.
Then the victim said Franklin pulled the car over at this Fort Lauderdale 7-Eleven on State Road 84 and he asked the victim to get out.
Then, Franklin got out and the video shows Franklin apparently grabbing an object from underneath or next to his seat.
“This guy gets out of the car, infuriated,” the victim said. “Unstable human being.”
The victim remembered something Franklin said to him during the violent confrontation.
“When I was getting out of the car he hits me and my phone drops,” the victim recalled. “He looks at me (and says) ‘I told you to get out of my car. Don’t record me.’”
Next, the victim said Franklin chased him around the 7-Eleven parking lot and struck him on the upper back.
“It was such a hard hit,” the victim said. “God forbid it was my head.”
Finally, John was able to call 911. Police arrived and Franklin was charged.
Attorney Judd Rosen is representing the victim. Rosen said Lyft’s background check should have discovered that Franklin has 11 driving citations in Broward and Palm Beach counties since 2014.
“It doesn’t disqualify you from driving but it should disqualify you from driving innocent people around,” Rosen said.
Also, Rosen believes Lyft should do more oversight of their employees.
“Is there any other company in our civilization today that has so many different employees, agents, people out there dealing with customers, with zero supervision?” Rosen said.
The victim said he hasn’t used Lyft or any ride sharing service since the incident.
“I’m kind of a little traumatized by the whole situation,” the victim told CBS4 News. “I would not in a million years ever think this would happen to me.”
CBS4 News reached out to Lyft on Thursday to see if Kevin Franklin still works for them and to get their response to this incident. But no one from Lyft got back to us.
CBS4 News also tried to contact Kevin Franklin to get his side of this story but we were unable to speak with him.