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Assault & Battery

Lyft Driver Attacks Female Passenger on Melrose, Other Drivers Fight Back

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LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — A Lyft driver pulled a female passenger out of his car, and allegedly started to attack her — kicking off a chain reaction of fights with concerned passersby.

TMZ got a hold of this WILD surveillance video recorded Tuesday afternoon in L.A., and it starts with the car — which has the Lyft emblem in the back window — parked curbside along busy Melrose Avenue. Then the male driver hops out, and pulls a young woman from the seat behind him and starts dragging her out of the vehicle while tossing her stuff out at the same time.

The woman, actress Alessandra Starr Ward, tells TMZ the whole thing started when she started playing a song called “Te Bote” from her phone. The driver demanded she turn it off, she refused, and they started arguing. He allegedly threatened to boot her from the car, and she told him she’d call police if he did.

In the clip, you can see Alessandra fighting back, but the driver pushed her down and knocked her over. Drivers in other cars saw it unfolding and a few guys stopped to help.

That’s when it really hit the fan … several guys teamed up on the Lyft driver, who continued fighting back, and in the scuffle … Alessandra got knocked down again. It took one guy putting the Lyft driver in a chokehold to finally calm things down.

We’re told nearby police officers were flagged down, and cited the Lyft driver for misdemeanor battery. As for Alessandra, she says she went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion. She also says she has bruises all over her body, a sprained ankle and a black eye.

She tells us Lyft needs to vet its drivers, as this shouldn’t happen to anyone. It’s unclear if she plans to pursue legal action against the rideshare company.

UPDATE 12:50 PM PT — The woman who says she was beaten and tossed around by a Lyft driver recounted her experience to TMZ, and it’s harrowing to hear firsthand from the alleged victim herself.

Actress Alessandra Starr Ward came on “TMZ Live” Wednesday to give a blow-by-blow account of what exactly happened to her in that car, and what led up to it. She told us that she was innocently playing a song from her phone, and when the driver demanded she turn it off … things spiraled out of control and allegedly became violent.

Alessandra —  who pretty clearly has a black eye here — says the Lyft driver then pulled her out of the vehicle and tossed her around like a rag doll until a few good men stepped in to stop the mayhem. It also sounds like Alessandra didn’t even get a chance to finish her 911 call.

Check it out … we ask if she’s planning to hit up Lyft for some answers on this, and she tells us she and her family already have, but so far … have only gotten crickets in response.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

TMZ refers to to a studio-established “thirty mile zone” to monitor rules for filming in Hollywood. The center of the zone was the offices of The Association of Motion Pictures and Television Producers, formerly at Beverly and La Cienega Boulevard. Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check https://www.tmz.com/shows/ for syndicated/local listings at the bottom of the page)

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Assault & Battery

Santa Monica Architect Stabbed in Expo Line Altercation

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Photo: Sam Catanzaro.

By Toi Creel

West Los Angeles (SM Mirror) — Four minors have been taken into custody after a Santa Monica man was stabbed in a violent confrontation on the Expo Line in West Los Angeles.

The incident occurred on the Metro E (Expo) Line Tuesday night at around 8:30 PM.

Former Santa Monica Planning Commission Chair Gwynne Pugh says he was riding the E line back to Santa Monica when two teenage couples, two men and two women, got on the train with a shopping cart filled with alcohol.

Witnesses say the teens were loud, appeared to be intoxicated, and when a […]

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Assault & Battery

Female Motorist Charged With Assaulting People at Taco Truck

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LOS ANGELES — A 25-year-old woman accused of assaulting people at a taco truck with her vehicle last August has been charged, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has announced.

Amber Rose Darbinyan of Los Angeles faces three felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, a car, one felony count each of hit-and-run driving resulting in injury to another person and vandalism over $400 damage, as well as three misdemeanor counts of battery.

Darbinyan pleaded not guilty today. The defendant is scheduled to return to court on March 27 for a preliminary hearing setting in Department 37 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

On Aug. 25, 2019, Darbinyan and other patrons were parked in front of a taco truck in Hollywood when she allegedly rammed her vehicle against a car that was blocking her path, prosecutors said.

If convicted as charged, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of eight years and four months in state prison.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, Hollywood Station.

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Assault & Battery

Brother of Bezos’ Girlfriend is Allegedly Attacked in WeHo

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Brother of Jeff Bezos girlfriend attacked by man screaming ‘f**k you’ just days after filing lawsuit against Amazon boss

WEST HOLLYWOOD (The Sun) — THE BROTHER of Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend was attacked in the street by a man who threatened to kill him and whacked him with a bike – just days after filing a defamation lawsuit against the Amazon chief.

Michael Sanchez, 54, was approached by a man on a bike screaming: “F**k you” and “Don’t ignore me” before the suspect picked up the bike and struck him with it, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s report, obtained by The Sun. Michael Sanchez filed a police report about the alleged attack The suspect also allegedly screamed “I’m going to kill you” according to onlookers to the incident, which took place in West Hollywood on February 5.

The alleged attack happened just days after Sanchez […]

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 Police report from the Los Angeles Sheriff's department obtained by The Sun
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