HOUSTON – A former rideshare driver barely escaped the clutches of an accused violent criminal during a ride he will never forget.
The driver, who KPRC 2 is calling John to protect his identity, was attacked in 2017 during his third Lyft ride ever and he hasn’t picked up passengers since.
John says in 2017, he was between jobs and was trying to make ends meet, so he became a rideshare driver. Late one night in July, he was leaving a friend’s house and turned on the Lyft app so he could make some quick cash.
“I got a request from this guy named Matt,” John said.
He picked up passenger named Matthew Dunn from Clicks Billiards in northwest Houston, and he says he felt something was off from the start.
“At first, he was like we are on same team, white people are hating on us, we need to do something,” said John.
John says he ignored Dunn and tried to drop him off at a motel near Highway 290 and Fairbanks North Houston Road.
“He opened his door and he was not leaving. He was just sitting there staring at me,” said John. Then chills shot down John’s spine as Dunn spoke.
“He said ‘God sent me to rip your head from your body…I want to kill all of you, you Muslim b----,’” said John.
John says that’s when things escalated.
“From the left hand he choked me and from the right hand he started slapping me, punching me on my head, scratching me from the back,” said John.
John said he was slowly losing consciousness but fought back by throwing punches. He said one blow connected with his attacker, giving him a split second to catch his breath and try and get out of the car.
“But while I was getting out the car, he grabbed my shirt from the back and he was pulling me inside,” John said. He said he charged forward, ripping his shirt in half and Dunn began chasing him. Eventually, John says he escaped.
Prosecutor Nathan Beedle said Dunn was arrested but skipped bail and has been at large ever since.
“The district attorney’s office is looking for you and we are going to get you and I am going to prosecute the case myself,” said Beedle, who is the chief of the Misdemeanor Division of the DA’s office.
“There is a hate crime enhancement in this case,” Beedle said.
The DA’s office is seeking tips on the whereabouts of Matthew Dunn. If anyone has information about his whereabouts, you’re asked to contact the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.