Dashcam captures brutal robbery, pistol-whipping of Los Angeles Lyft driver

A video capturing the alleged robbery of a 67-year-old California Lyft driver by a black man armed with a handgun is making the rounds because of the callous brutality on display.

The entire incident was captured on the driver’s dashcam video, which the gunman apparently not aware his actions were being recorded.

“I was very scared,” Paul Liao told KCAL-TV of the alleged robbery. “Very scared.”

In the video, which was shared online by FOX 11 Los Angeles, Liao is seen trying to reason with the man — there is no audio. At one point, the gunman grabs a cell phone from the dash as they continue to exchange words. After Liao produced what appears to be receipts or other scrap paper from his pocket, the angry robber suddenly lashed out with the weapon striking the Lyft driver in the face.

He would proceed to pistol-whip Liao a second time after more words.

Liao, who is Taiwanese, was working as a Lyft driver Monday night when the suspect jumped into his car at a Los Angeles gas station where he had just refueled, according to reports.

The bandit got away with more than $1,500 in cash. Liao’s daughter-in-law Christine Ting told KCAL-TV Liao had just earned that money at another job.

“He had just gotten paid for doing designated driving services,” she explained.

The suspect also tried to steal the car but Liao reportedly convinced him he wouldn’t be able to drive it because it had a key-less ignition and he’s not the owner. Liao also said the man asked him if he was from China.

The driver got a dashcam for protection, and had to disable the microphone because California requires consent to record audio.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident, calling it a crime of opportunity.

A GoFundMe account was set up for Liao and as of this writing, more than $17,000 dollars has been raised to offset the traumatic experience. The page description said he “has been providing rideshare services throughout the entire pandemic.”

Like in many Democrat-run areas, crime has soared in Los Angeles County. While liberal officials talk about defunding police, murders alone have spiked nearly 200% compared to the same time period in 2020.

Violent crime is up substantially and Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is at odds with District Attorney George Gascón’s progressive policies — the former district attorney of San Francisco is yet another local prosecutor backed by billionaire George Soros as part of his campaign to shape the criminal justice system in America.

Gascón recently disbanded the LA County Hardcore Gang Unit, replacing it with the newly established Community Violence Reduction Division, which will be staffed by experienced prosecutors who will “collaborate” with the LAPD and other community partners.

Eric Siddall, vice president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles County and a former Hardcore Gang Unit prosecutor, slammed the move, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

“Mr. Gascón decimated the gang division to fulfill reckless political promises to special interest groups,” Siddall said. “He did this notwithstanding the rise of gang violence, especially in economically disadvantaged communities. Year to date, neighborhoods like Watts have experienced a 130% increase in homicides compared to last year.”

“Now he is attempting to disguise this public safety blunder by rebranding the gang unit and embellishing on his achievements,” he added. “There is nothing new to his approach of embedding prosecutors in police stations. The only difference is that he is devoting fewer resources to combat an explosion of gang violence.”

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Tom Tillison

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