A Lyft passenger who garnered viral attention after he was filmed throwing a racist tirade against his driver during a mask dispute is now apologizing.
The man, who hails from Issaquah, Washington, said both he and his wife have since lost their jobs following the November 17 encounter, The New York Post reported. He told the newspaper that they are also “being evicted.”
“We both lost the best jobs we’ve ever had and are being evicted from the house we rent,” the passenger, who asked to be identified only as “Joe from Issaquah,” said in an emailed statement to The Post.
“There really is no context to the incident — my behavior in the video was despicable,” he added.
The video, which was uploaded to the popular Twitter account Fifty Shades of Whey, shows the man and his wife exploding on Lyft driver David Kangogo.
Kangogo told The New York Post that the couple became enraged after he asked them to wear their face masks. At one point, “Joe from Issaquah” is heard calling the driver a “sand n*****.”
The video has since amassed over 40,000 views and 1,000 retweets.
“I humbly apologize for my behavior towards David K. the Lyft driver on Tuesday night,” the man said, according to The New York Post.
“I should have never said the things I said nor acted like a complete idiot.”
The man now claims he had too much to drink that night and “lost control of my tongue,” the newspaper continued.
“He didn’t deserve that. Nobody does. I had too much to drink and lost control of my tongue and I said horrible things that I truly regret,” he told the outlet.
“Watching the video was hard for me; it was if I didn’t recognize the person. I let myself down, I let my friends and family down, I let my company down, I let our whole country down.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Male Passenger Took off His Mask During the Ride, According to Newsweek
Kangogo, 30, told Newsweek that “Joe” took off his mask during the ride on November 17. The man proceeded to ignore the driver’s first request to put the mask back on, the outlet continued. Lyft’s policy currently requires all passengers and drivers to wear masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to Newsweek.
The viral video, recorded by Kangogo, shows the man and his wife exiting the parked car. The man, who appears to be intoxicated, is heard shouting expletives at the driver. The wife is standing nearby.
At one point, “Joe” calls Kangogo a “sand n*****,” the video shows. His wife then urges him to stop while warning the driver that she is also recording.
“I got your license plate,” the woman tells Kangogo, according to the driver’s video. “You should never drive Lyft again.”
“We expected a Lyft drive home,” ‘Joe’ adds, the video shows. Kangogo says all they have to do is wear their masks, the footage continues.
Becoming more enraged, the male passenger threatens to urinate inside Kangogo’s car, the video captures.
“Here, hold on, I’ll feel better when I p— in here,” he says on camera.
Lyft Has Since Banned the Passengers
On November 18, Lyft announced on Twitter that the couple has since been banned following widespread circulation of the video.
“There is no place for discrimination of any sort in the Lyft community, and this behavior is unacceptable,” the company tweeted. “We have permanently removed the rider from the Lyft community and are in touch with the driver to offer our support.”
Kangogo told Newsweek that he called Lyft representatives shortly after the encounter.
“I couldn’t drive,” Kangogo expressed to the outlet. “I was literally shaking.”
The driver has since set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for school fees.
With a goal of raising $2,000, Kangogo explained on the page that Lyft requests have gone down during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Due to covid lyft requests has gone really down so thank you guys,” Kangogo wrote.
So far, the fundraiser has generated a little over $1,000.