WALTON COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Walton County Sheriff’s Investigators described it as one of the most bizarre cases they’ve come across. The case involves a woman who was pulled over in a stolen car. Investigators said the driver was carrying hundreds of ecstasy pills in the car while at the same time transporting a Lyft passenger.
Investigators said it raises important questions about how Lyft screens its drivers and safety of passengers.
The traffic pullover occurred Monday afternoon on Highway 81 when a deputy stopped a stolen maroon Nissan Altima which was flagged by a license plate reader. The car had two people inside, the woman driver and a man in the back seat.
Major Scott Whisnant told FOX 5 News the passenger was caught off guard.
“He says I’ve engaged her services as a Lyft driver shows them on the app that here I haven’t done anything wrong I’m just getting a Lyft ride,” said Major Whisnant.
The major said when the car was searched the deputy found nearly 300 ecstasy pills. Ladaije Harvey was arrested for the drugs and the stolen car, which was reported by its owner in Marietta.
Major Whisnant said Harvey was using someone else’s Lyft login and account to pick up the fare.
“I think she was combining her Lyft operations, illegitimate Lyft, along with the transporting of narcotics,” said Major Whisnant.
After learning of the incident Walton County resident and occasional ride-sharing user Michael Conrad said he’s concerned about safety when using Lyft.
“It’s not something you want to get into you don’t want to take a ride with a stranger with nefarious things going on,” said Conrad.
A Lyft spokesman sent FOX 5 News a statement which reads:
“The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority and the incident described is unacceptable and has no place on the Lyft platform. We are actively investigating this incident and stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.”
As far as the Lyft passenger who was caught up on the chaos, he managed to get a ride to his destination.
“His biggest concern was he was going to be late to work. One of the deputies transported him to work,” said Whisnant.
The major said it’s unclear if the person who allowed Harvey to use the Lyft login could face charges.
Major Whisnant said Harvey is from Augusta where she had an outstanding arrest warrant.