Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Austin TX (Travis County)
Attorneys For Aggravated Assault Charges In Austin, TX
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Lyft Driver Charged After Pulling ‘Gun’ On Pedicab Driver In East Austin Traffic Scrape
Robert Henderson Rush, 58, said he only tried scaring cyclist by pointing realistic-looking BB gun at her head while threatening to kill her
EAST AUSTIN, TX — A Lyft driver pulled a gun on a pedicab operator over the weekend, threatening to kill her during an argument on the road, according to a published report.
The incident happened Saturday morning near the Rainey Street entertainment district, the Austin American=Statesman reported. Robert Henderson Rush, 58, was arrested of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, even after police found the gun drawn on the pedicab driver turned out to be a BB gun strongly resembling a regular gun, according to the report.
The pedicab operator, Brandy Tribble, dialed 911 just after 1:30 a.m. right before the various bars along Rainey Street were set to close. The argument was sparked after Rush nearly hit Tribble while he was driving a gray SUV as his rideshare vehicle, prompting the cyclist to yell at the driver and kick his car after he came to a halt at Red River and Davis streets.
Rush then reportedly rolled down his window and pointed the gun at Tribble’s head while uttering the shocking words: “I will kill you,” according to an arrest affidavit. Fearing for her life, Tribble reportedly ran away.
Given the heavy police presence at the popular entertainment district, officers were able to quickly locate Rush, according to the report. He told police he became angry when she kicked his car and was just trying to scare her off, according to the affidavit. A search of the vehicle yielded a black, gas-powered Beretta BB gun with a tactical pointer, loaded with metal ball bearings.
Lyft responded to the Statesman’s questions regarding the incident, telling the newspaper that Rush was no longer a driver for their company following the incident. “This type of behavior is completely unacceptable,” Lyft officials said, citing its “no weapons” policy prohibiting drivers or passengers from carrying weapons in Lyft vehicles, even if it’s legal to possess that weapon.
It’s unclear how Lyft’s policy squares with the “open carry” law passed in Texas on Jan. 1, 2016, that allows licensed gun owners to carry their concealed weapons or walk around openly with their rifles. Like Lyft, numerous businesses have opted out allowing guns on their premises despite the passage of “open carry,” their policies effectively trumping the gun law.
The incident involving the BB gun-wielding driver also comes after a Texas law allowed Lyft and Uber to return to Austin after their departure over refusing to submit their drivers to fingerprint background checks on drivers as city ordinance requires. Championed by Gov. Greg Abbott—who condemned the Austin requirement in framing it as some sort of free market infringement on businesses—the new state law allowing Uber and Lyft to hire drivers without fingerprint checks now supersedes local ordinances in legislation pushed through in direct response to the local statute.
Given that backdrop, the Statesman looked into the background of the BB-gun-trigger-happy Lyft driver, and found that Rush had a drug-related felony arrest in 2000.