Attorney: Lyft driver who shot at three York women under-charged

York

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — Three York women said their Lyft ride took a scary turn when their driver fired a gun at them.

Police arrested the driver, but their attorney believes he was undercharged, while the victims were overlooked.

Henrietta Rice’s head is pounding — not because of a headache, but one haunting thought.

“He was gonna kill us. Our life was in danger. He was going to kill us,” she said.

The driver was 51-year-old Jerry Smith, who picked up Rice and her two nieces, Mae and Rosemarie, around 3 a.m. on June 24.

The women asked about rolling down a window. At first they said he ignored them, but then he became combative.

“He kept on driving, driving, acting like he didn’t hear me. So, he was like, ‘You’re so dumb. You’re so stupid. You don’t know how to let down the f***ing button? You don’t know what a button looks like,'” Rice said.

They said he eventually screamed at them to get out of the car.

“He had us locked in. So, when he finally opened the door for her to get out, that’s when we seen him look down, and he reached back and looked at us, and went — ‘pow’!'” Rice said.

They ran, and Miller was arrested, but they’re still waiting for justice.

“That was absolutely shocking to me,” said Jenni Chavis, one of their attorneys.

Miller was let out on a $25,000 unsecured bond — meaning no money is needed up front. This practice is rare, according to Chavis.

“Especially compared to other individuals in the region — Harrisburg, York, Lancaster — who are involved in shootings, you will see individuals — they have extremely high bail. They’re still sitting in county prison,” Chavis said.

Miller was only charged with one count of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, even though there were three victims.

“They failed us because they should have done their job more better than what they were doing. They failed all of us. This man could have killed us,” Rice said.

While they weren’t killed, they said they’re far from okay.

“It’s dangerous because our lives are still at risk. This man is still on the loose. There’s no telling — he can come back and harm anyone of us,” Rice said.

The women are now on a mission of their own. They want Miller’s bail raised and charges upgraded, or to let those with similar crimes have theirs downgraded.

They said they don’t want to assume it was racial — Miller is white and they are black — but something isn’t adding up.

“Why wouldn’t this person recieve the same type of treatment — as say — black males who are charged with shooting other individuals? So, we’re asking for that equal justice,” Chavis said.

abc27 reached out to Lyft and the York County District Attorney’s Office.

A Lyft spokesperson said, “”Safety is fundamental to Lyft. The behavior described is unacceptable, and a violation of our strict no-weapons policy for both riders and drivers. Upon becoming aware of the incident, we permanently removed the driver from the Lyft community and reached out to the rider. We stand ready to assist law enforcement.”

A spokesperson for the York County District Attorney’s Office said they do not comment on ongoing investigations or set bail in preliminary arraignments.

One of the women suffered a minor leg injury after she was hit from debris that ricocheted from the bullet’s impact.

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