PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Investigators say a local Lyft driver was brutally beat up by one of his riders in Gresham, and now police are looking for the young man who did it.
The driver, Parham Rabiee, told FOX 12 his head injuries are so severe, his doctor told him he can’t drive for weeks, and driving is his only source of income.
Rabiee said he also has a broken nose and other bruises on his head from repeated punching and kicking, police say.
It started around 7:15 p.m. Thursday when Rabiee said he picked up two men in the area west of Interstate 205 near Johnson Creek Boulevard.
Rabiee said they both looked to be around 20 years old. He claims they were acting erratically, calling him racist slurs and getting upset with him, he says, about the music he was playing.
The riders were heading to the Shari’s Cafe on East Burnside in Gresham, but when he arrived, Rabiee says it became a difficult situation, and he had to help one of the men out of his car.
“One of them was really intoxicated,” Rabiee said. “I mean, they both were but one of them was more. The other one was carrying him.”
When Rabiee did get out of his car to try and help the backseat rider, that’s when police say he was attacked by the man who had been sitting in the front seat.
“I was too nice and I’m mad that I was. I should’ve just sit and don’t care about anything,” Rabiee said. “The first hit I got on my head I fell down. I fell down, I didn’t know what happened. I wasn’t even ready for a fight.”
Rabiee was taken to a nearby hospital, but says he was transferred to Legacy Emanuel when he says doctors identified severe head trauma.
Police say there is no indication why the assault began and at least right now, this is not being investigated as a bias crime.
“They were saying stuff like I’m a stupid Middle Eastern. I mean, I was really scared, I really didn’t care at the time, I was worried about my safety more than anything,” Rabiee said. “Even thinking about it. It hurts me. I try not thinking about it, but I hope they get what they deserve.”
Gresham police say Rabiee’s two riders took off in a dark-colored sedan before officers could get there. Right now, they’re only looking for one suspect.
Police hope if you were in the area of the Oregon Trail Shopping Center on Thursday night where that Shari’s is located, you might've seen that rider.
Police describe him as a white man between 18 and 20 years old with short dark brown hair, about 5’ 8” tall and weighing between 130 and 140 pounds. Police say the suspect was wearing a dark jacket and jeans at the time of the attack.
Officers tell FOX 12 they’re hoping Lyft will be able to assist in the investigation to find who may have done this.
Rabiee says unfortunately, the Lyft request is connected to a woman, so neither one of his passengers.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Rabiee with life expenses, as he won’t be able to work for a few weeks.
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