Charges: Lyft passenger threatened to kill driver with knife

A 34-year-old man is in custody at the Dakota County Jail after he allegedly threatened to kill his Lyft driver with a knife and tried to strangle him, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dakota County District Court.

Amory Alban Dean is charged with assault in the second degree, a felony that faces a maximum sentence of seven years behind bars and a $14,000 fine.

According to the charges, Farmington police responded to an assault on April 1. They learned a Lyft driver had picked up a passenger, later identified as Dean, in Burnsville and was driving him to Farmington. 

Before they reached the destination in Farmington, Dean pulled out a green-handled folding knife and threatened to kill the driver, the charges state. Dean also tried to strangle the driver, but the driver was able to stop the car and get away. Dean went after him, which allowed the driver to get back to his car and call for help.

When police arrived, the driver was "visibily upset and physically trembling," the charges state.

Police found a knife on Dean when taking him into custody. While driving him to jail, police also heard Dean make "several derogatory statements about the victim related to his country of origin," the complaint states.

A judge set bail at $25,000, according to online records.

In response to the incident, Lyft released the following statement:

"Safety is fundamental to Lyft and the behavior described is unacceptable. We have been in touch with the driver to offer our support, removed the rider from the Lyft community and reached out to law enforcement to assist with any investigation."