The Austin Chronicle

Rape Claims Hit Rideshare Drivers

Lyft, RideAustin drivers both arrested on sexual assault charges

By Sarah Marloff, October 20, 2017, News

Two local rideshare drivers were arrested this week and charged with felony sexual assault after DNA testing linked both men to separate crime reports – one dating back to summer 2015, the other from this summer. Osmani Limonta Diaz, a former driver with RideAustin, allegedly raped a woman in the back of his car after arriving at her house in June. Police obtained a search warrant for a DNA sample from Diaz, which matched the DNA found in the survivor's rape kit. According to a statement issued Monday night, RideAustin CEO Andy Tryba provided "full assistance" to police upon learning of the alleged attack. The local nonprofit deactivated Diaz from its platform and notified other rideshare companies of the incident. Meanwhile, Georgetown resident and former Lyft driver Angel Interial finds himself in the custody of the Williamson County Sheriff's Office after long-awaited DNA testing was completed on a 2015 rape kit as part of APD's push to deplete the department's backlog. Like Diaz, Interial is accused of raping a woman in his car after driving her home. Lyft says Interial was deactivated from their platform in 2015 once the company was notified of the pending allegations. KVUE reports Interial's bond has been set at $60,000.

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