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Crypt Keeper Face Portland City Commissioner Calls 911 On Lyft Driver After Advocating To Defund Police! (Video)

Crypt Keeper Face Portland City Commissioner Calls 911 On Lyft Driver After Advocating To Defund Police! (Video)

by November 12, 2020 0 comments

Ugmo Dykeho JoJo!
By: Tommy “Tj” Sotomayor

The Lyft went bad from the beginning once Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty ordered a pickup at Washington’s ilani Casino Resort last week.

Hardesty got upset over a mixup about where she was waiting for the car, then she didn’t want the windows open for ventilation because she was cold, then she wouldn’t get out when the driver cut the ride short and tried to drop her off at a gas station miles from home.

The Nov. 1 trip ended with dueling calls to 911 and a request from Hardesty for police to respond even though a dispatcher repeatedly told her that no crime had been committed.

LISTEN TO THE CALLS

The encounter puts a spotlight on Hardesty at a time when the veteran politician has worked to shift money away from the Portland police budget and tried to find alternatives to relieve police of handling a flood of 911 reports on scenarios that don’t involve crimes. Hardesty oversees Portland’s emergency dispatch system.

The commissioner didn’t respond to messages for comment, but her office released a copy of a complaint that Hardesty sent to Lyft.

She said the driver was angry and that he blamed her for the misunderstanding over the pickup location. She wrote that it was “totally inappropriate to expect a woman to get out of a vehicle in the dead of night.”

The two emergency calls are documented in Clark County dispatch records and audio obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive through a public records request.

Richmond Frost of Beaverton, a Lyft driver for four years who has handled more than 18,000 rides, said he didn’t realize his fare was Hardesty until it was all over. He said he’s now concerned about the publicity and how it could affect his Lyft license.

“She was not a pleasant person,” Frost said. “That has nothing to do with her political position as a Portland council person. I’m out here doing my job. She was very disrespectful to me, made me uncomfortable. I don’t feel like I have to sit in a car for anyone to have to argue unrelentingly and be rude and abusive, telling me what I have to do in my own vehicle.”

Frost’s account starts when he said he was clearing a fare in Vancouver and accepted a pickup request from a customer named “Jo Ann.”

He drove about 25 minutes north to the casino in Ridgefield and pulled up to the front entrance. He said he waited five minutes with no sign of his fare. So he called her.

“It kind of went south from there,” Frost said. “She wasn’t happy. She didn’t understand where I was.”

He soon figured out Hardesty was waiting at a side entrance and drove to meet her there.

Once in his car, Hardesty was perturbed that he had trouble finding her, he said. He grabbed his phone from the bindle on his dashboard and showed her where the pin drop indicated her location, but that didn’t seem to assuage her displeasure, he said.

“I just wanted to calm her down, make her understand that I’m not a rookie. I know what I’m doing,” Frost said. “She didn’t want to hear any of that. She just wasn’t happy with that.”

As he started to drive out of the casino’s lot, Hardesty told him that he needed to roll up the windows, that she couldn’t ride with them down.

The car windows on the front driver’s side and front passenger’s side were cracked open to allow for air circulation as a safeguard due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said.According to Lyft’s website, the company’s new rules for the road during the pandemic recommend keeping the car windows open.

He rolled the windows up slightly but kept them open a sliver, telling Hardesty that the windows were open for safety purposes since they couldn’t be six feet apart in the confined space of his car.

“I did say, ‘It’s for my safety and your safety.’ But that was like pouring gas on her fire,” Frost said. “She demanded that I close that window right now. She was kind of ballistic at that point.”

He pulled onto Interstate 5 south but decided to take the next exit when he said Hardesty wouldn’t let up in demanding that he close the windows.

“So I made a decision, it would be in the best interest for both of us to cancel the ride,” Frost said. He took the first exit south of Ridgefield. He spotted a Chevron to the west of the freeway and pulled in there.

“It’s lit up like a football field. It’s safe. It’s warm. She could order another Lyft or Uber, whatever she wants to do, and I can be done, and I can get on with my work,” he said he thought.

But Hardesty’s anger boiled over. Frost said she told him: “’Well, no, either you’re going to take me back to the casino or you’re going to take me to my destination,’” he recalled.Hardesty, he said, told himthat she’d already paid for the ride, but Frost said he had canceled the trip and no money had been exchanged.

He said he pulled close tothe front door of the gas station’s convenience store, but Hardesty wouldn’t get out of his four-door black 2019 Hyundai Ioniq.

Frost asked her if he’d have to call police to have her removed and she told him to go ahead, he said.

Then Hardesty herself dialed 911 at 9:48 p.m. from the back seat.

Asked what her emergency was, she said, “Well, I’ve got a Lyft driver that decided he would just drop me off at a filling station. Well, I’m not getting out of the car, in the dark, at a filling station, not happening – all because I asked him to put the window up. I’m not leaving.”

She said there was no violence. No weapons were involved.

“He says I’ve got to get out of his car, or he would call the police, so I decided to call for him,” she continued.

The dispatcher told Hardesty several times that what she described wasn’t a crime, that it was a civil matter, noting that the car was the driver’s property. Hardesty still asked police to respond.

“I am not going to allow him to leave me at the side of the road,” she said.

The driver can be overheard in the background trying to tell the dispatcher that they’re not at the side of a road.

“I paid for a ride. He says he canceled it,” Hardesty said. “So I’m going to sit here until he sends me another ride.”

The dispatcher asked Hardesty, “Do you understand only you can order another ride?”

“I’m not moving until another car comes,” Hardesty said.

The dispatch record noted that she wouldn’t get out “because it was cold and she was a woman and alone.”

Dispatch record from Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency
A section of the 911 dispatch record from Jo Ann Hardesty’s and the Lyft driver’s Nov. 1 calls from Ridgefield, Wash.

As the two then waited in silence in the car for police to arrive, Frost decided to call police himself to register his own complaint.

He said he was a ride share driver, that he had canceled a customer’s ride and she was refusing to get out of his car. The dispatcher quickly figured out that his call was related to the one just received, which is confirmed by the dispatch records. The dispatcher said a police car would be dispatched but would be diverted if there was an emergency.

A marked Ridgefield police car with two officers pulled up behind them at 9:57 p.m. as another Lyft driver also arrived.

Frost got out of his car and told the police what had occurred from his perspective.

“It was just a ride that didn’t work out. It wasn’t going well. I thought it was best to cancel the ride, start over and reset,” Frost said he told police. “I didn’t see a point in sitting in the vehicle with that kind of tension and upset customer for 35 minutes.”

Frost said he didn’t notice any sign of intoxication or smell of alcohol from Hardesty. There was no reference to any intoxication in the dispatch records. He said Hardesty was wearing a mask.

When an officer approached the rear passenger door, Hardesty got out. She ultimately got into the other Lyft, which she had already ordered for a ride home, according to dispatch records.

“Peace restored and involved parties sent their separate ways,” read a 10:16 p.m. entry on the dispatch report.

Jo Ann Hardesty's complaint to Lyft
The same night of her Lyft ride from the ilani Casino, Jo Ann Hardesty wrote a complaint to Lyft, calling her driver an “angry person.”

Later that night, Hardesty sent a complaint to Lyft.

“I requested a ride, the driver came to the wrong pick up location. He then blamed me.” she wrote. “I asked him to roll the window up on my side and he started to yell, ‘I can’t because the regulations require each window to be cracked (which isn’t true). He then pulls over in the dark on the side of a gas station and told me he was cancelling the ride. I had no interest in being left on the side of the road by an angry driver. He threaten (sic) to call the police. I called the police & another car. Both arrived at the same time. It is totally inappropriate to expect a woman to get out of a vehicle in the dead of night because any angry person demands it. This is a safety issue for your customer. Your driver was in no danger.”

A member of a Lyft Safety Team identified as Garry responded to Hardesty:“As a reminder, drivers are free to end a ride for any reason as long as the drop off is in a safe location. Safety is our top priority. We take these matters very seriously. We encourage everyone using Lyft to be respectful of others. This helps maintain a safe and inclusive community.”

The Chevron station’s convenience store closed at 10 p.m. but the station’s night lights remain on because the pumps are available through credit card use 24 hours a day, a clerk said.

Frost, 63, who has lived in the Portland metro area for 51 yearssaid he got back into his car and drove off after Hardesty got out of the back seat. Once back on I-5 south, he stopped on the shoulder and called a Lyft help line to report the canceled trip.

Only when he was recounting what had occurred and reported the passenger’s full name — which he had overheard her give to police — did he recognize that Hardesty was the Portland city commissioner, he said.

“She was just another passenger,” he said. “I treat everybody the same. I try to be professional.”