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In the Southern California city of South El Monte, a 67-year-old Lyft driver of Asian descent was pistol-whipped and robbed at gunpoint after refueling at a gas station on Monday, according to reports.
The robbery was recorded on the driver’s dashcam video, which was obtained by FOX 11 in Los Angeles.
“I was very scared,” Paul Liao told KCAL-TV in LA of the alleged robbery. “Very scared.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating whether race factored into the attack on Liao who is Taiwanese. Liao told investigators the suspect asked about his ethnicity
The suspect allegedly jumped into the backseat of Liao’s car while he was at a gas station El Monte, east of downtown LA, waiting for his next fare, his daughter-in-law said, FOX 11 reported.
The suspect allegedly demanded Liao’s wallet and stole his cell phone and around $1,500 in cash, the daughter-in-law said. She said he had just earned the money on another job doing designated driving services, according to KCAL.The video shows the suspect hitting Liao with the gun multiple times, giving him a bloody nose. His daughter-in-law said the suspect got angry after he demanded the keys to the car and was told by Liao it was keyless and only he could drive it. The suspect then fled from the scene.
The driver’s family has established a GoFundMe to help replace the stolen cash and cellphone as well as help with medical expenses.
The suspect remains on the loose.
Authorities are investigating the case as a possible hate crime.