Road rage is both very real, and very, very stupid. There is nothing to be gained from engaging with another driver in anger, and no one wins when both parties decide to settle things with their fists.
Case in point, a former Lyft driver is out of a job and his middle-aged opponent almost lost his pet after a confrontation on the road escalated to a full-on brawl that ended with the Lyft driver reaching into the man's van, grabbing his small dog, and heaving the poor pup into the street before taking off. The whole thing was captured on video by a witness, who uploaded the footage to the internet yesterday.
In the video, recorded in Montclair, New Jersey, we see the two men already out of their vehicles and fighting in the middle of the street, so it's not clear what sparked the altercation. The older man gets a good punch in before losing his balance and falling, getting up to menace the Lyft driver and grab him by the back of the neck. In this limited context at least, he does seem like the aggressor.
Still, that doesn't excuse what happens next. As the older man returns to his van to leave, the Lyft driver yanks the passenger door open, grabs the man's dog, and hurls it at least a good fifteen feet. There's obviously a lot of commotion, and it almost looks like he strikes the dog as he flees the scene in a Honda Fit.
Thankfully, we now know that's not the case. Montclair Police tracked down both parties today - both license plates were clearly visible - and learned that the pup wasn't seriously injured, but they're reportedly still looking into whether charges need to be filed. In addition to police, both the Montclair Animal Cruelty Investigator and the SPCA are also investigating the incident.
As for the dog-tosser? Though he wasn't working at the time, Lyft issued a statement saying he'll never drive for the company again.
"We are shocked and horrified by what we saw in this video," Lyft spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna said. "While this did not happen on the Lyft platform, we permanently deactivated the individual after learning of his truly cruel behavior; he will never again be able to use Lyft."