A Lyft driver who allegedly threatened two passengers in Boston's North End with a metal pipe early Sunday morning is free on bail pending his arraignment.
Jesse Colon, 45, of Boston, will face charges of assault and battery and assault with a dangerous weapon when he appears in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday.
Police said they responded to a call for a "verbal and physical altercation" around 12:45 a.m. Sunday in the area of Clark and Hanover streets. Upon arrival, officers said they found a man and a woman who said they had been dropped off by Colon and then realized they had left a cellphone in his car. They asked the driver to return the phone in exchange for payment.
When Colon returned, police said the three allegedly began to argue over money. Authorities said the driver grabbed the woman by the neck and threatened the couple with a metal pipe.
Colon told NBC Boston on Monday that he didn't start the fight and is looking forward to his day in court. He said the passengers offered him $30 to bring back their phone, but when he arrived they threw only a few dollars at him and told him to leave.
That's when he got into a verbal argument with them that turned physical. He said he pulled out the pipe from his car as protection.
Colon said he has dashcam video that shows some of the disagreement and backs up his version of events.
Lyft said it is cooperating with police.
"These allegations are extremely concerning — the safety of the Lyft community is our number one priority," the company said in a statement. "We have reached out to the passenger to offer our assistance and have deactivated the driver. We stand ready to assist with any police investigation."
It's unclear if Colon has an attorney.