Longmont, CO Lyft Driver Tyrone Rivers Sr. Arrested for Sexual Assault
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Longmont, CO Lyft Driver Tyrone Rivers Sr. Arrested for Sexual Assault

NBC 9 News in Denver reports that on Wednesday, 12 2020, February Tyrone Rivers Sr., a former rideshare driver in Longmont was arrested this week on charges of sexual assault on a physical helpless person, criminal invasion of property, and theft after sending three photos of a passed-out, partially-disrobed sexual assault victim to a wrong number, according to an affidavit for his arrest from the Longmont Police Department (LPD).

The charges stem from an incident on New Years Day. At approximately 8:00 a.m. that morning, a Lafayette man received a text message from an unknown number. The message contained three photos of a woman, who was “partially disrobed” and “appeared to be passed out.”

The woman, whom the man did not recognize, was in the back of a black SUV that had both Lyft and Uber stickers in the window. Concerned about the woman’s welfare, the man called Lafayette police. The police were not able to trace the phone, so they conducted an “emergency ping” due to not knowing the woman’s current condition.

The number came back to Rivers Sr. and officers went to his Longmont home. When police spoke with Rivers Sr., he admitted he was driving for a rideshare service late on December 31st and into the early morning hours of January 1st. He admitted to officers that he had picked up a woman and took her to an address in Longmont.

During the interview with police, Rivers Sr. said that the woman, “was intoxicated when she got in the vehicle,” and when asked to rank her intoxication level on a scale of one to 10, his response was, “probably a 7.” Rivers Sr. said that when they got to the woman’s home, she couldn’t find her keys. Rather than leaving her outside in the cold, he said he canceled his next ride and they returned to his vehicle.

Rivers Sr. said, the woman began “hitting on” him once they returned to the vehicle and they eventually “had intercourse.”  Rivers Sr. continued to say that the woman was, “awake and conscious,” during the entire incident. He continued and said that she never asked him to stop.

Rivers Sr. admitted that he took three pictures of the woman and sent them to a number he believed was a friend of his. The pictures were accompanied with a message that said something to the effect of, “Let me show you how my new year began.”

The police affidavit states that Rivers Sr. was, “well aware,” that the woman was asleep when he took the pictures and that she, “had no idea,” that the pictures were being taken. Rivers Sr. also said he learned that his friend never got the photos because the friend got a new number that wasn’t programmed in his phone, and upon learning this, he resent the photos later.

Using data from Rivers’ phone, officers located a woman they believed was likely the woman in the photos and went to her home. The officers explained to her that they were contacting her about a photo that was taken of her and sent to someone.

She explained that she and her boyfriend were at a friend’s home the night before and she took a Lyft home because her boyfriend wanted to stay. She said that she, “didn’t recall any part of the Lyft ride home.” The victim said she had a few drinks and recalled waking up in the Lyft vehicle in the morning, which was parked in her neighbor’s driveway.

She said she ,”found it very strange,” because it was dark when she requested the ride and when she woke up it was light outside. When the officer told the woman that Rivers said they had sex, she immediately said “no,” but when asked if it was possible, she said admitted that “yes” it was possible as she “didn’t even recall coming home.”.

She went on to state, “none … none whatsoever” of what occurred was consensual. The victim was offered a sexual assault exam but declined; she did however provide undergarments and the leggings she was wearing to police.

Officers followed up with the victim on January 10th and she was able to provide more information about the incident. She said she woke up in the vehicle and was trying to orient herself when she thought, “maybe she had passed out and he [Rivers Sr.] couldn’t wake her.” She then walked to her house and Rivers followed her. She couldn’t find her keys, and went to call her roommate, but she couldn’t find her phone. She said Rivers told her it was in his car and went and retrieved it from the glovebox.

She said she had no idea how her phone got in the glovebox, and while she said she called her roommate three times, she got no answer. At that point she went to the back of the house to knock on the window and that Rivers was gone when she came back to the front.

The victim also told police she was missing $60 to $80 from her purse, but said she wasn’t sure if Rivers had taken it or if she had given it to him as a tip. She also said she had to tell her work about the incident because she was unable to return to work on January 3rd due to suffering a panic attack.

The victim said she was concerned because Rivers Sr. knew where she lived and she has been looking over her shoulder ever since the incident. She filed for and was granted a protection order on January 7th, forbidding Rivers Sr. from having contact with her.

A Lyft spokesperson said Rivers Sr. was “permanently banned” from the Lyft platform and emailed the following statement:

“Community safety is fundamental to Lyft, and we take any allegations like this incredibly seriously. Immediately upon law enforcement reporting the incident to us, the driver was permanently banned from the Lyft platform. We are actively assisting with their investigation.”

A spokesperson for Uber also confirmed that while he was not working for Uber at the time of the incident, his access to the app was removed.

Rivers is due in court on February 19th where he’s expected to be formally charged.