Clare Dunn Was Assaulted by Lyft Driver in Nashville
Clare Dunn was assaulted by a Lyft driver during a ride in late June, the country singer shares in a new interview. There is currently a warrant out for the man's arrest.
To People, Dunn recounts the incident, which took place early on the morning of June 26 in Nashville, after the artist had been out with her friends. Around midnight, Dunn and one of her friends ordered a Lyft to pick them up and drive them home.
The car dropped Dunn's friend — who is not named in People's story — off first, without incident. At the time, Dunn recalls, "I had that intuition that something was wrong, and I ignored it;" she adds that the friend she was with later told her that she had a similar feeling.
"It makes me emotional, but she said, 'I wanted to tell you to get out and we'll get another ride, or you could just sleep on my couch,' and we both ignored it," Dunn shares. "As women, we sometimes do that, but I think when we have those feelings, they are alarm bells. I remember just telling myself that I was overthinking it ... and just trying to tell myself, 'It's fine.' I blame myself."
Dunn says she'd asked the Lyft driver to avoid the highway on the way from her friend's house to her house; she calls it the "slower route," though People reports that the trip was still only about 10 miles. The driver, however, did not follow Dunn's advice.
"We were barreling towards the interstate and I spoke up and was like, 'Hey, that was my turn. Where are you going? You need to take the next right turn,'" the country singer recalls, adding that the driver began screaming at her, though she couldn't understand what he was saying because his English "wasn't the best."
"I just knew in that moment that I wasn't going to get on that interstate with him. I wasn't going to go quietly where he wanted to take me," Dunn continues. "And I think he realized maybe this girl was going to be more trouble than she's worth."
The driver, Dunn says, pulled the car over about a mile away from her house. "Before I could even get my shoes off or get my phone to try and call 911, he grabbed me by the collar, ripped me out of the backseat and slammed me face-first down into a ditch," she recounts. She tried to call 911, and although she says she "didn't even get the number right," the emergency service called her back.
"When I came to, I was screaming, and I saw headlights," she remembers. "He ended up just leaving me alone at that point and took off."
Dunn says she then ran home, went to the emergency room and filed a police report. A photo the singer provided to People shows her face after the incident: swollen and bruised, with blood running from the bridge of her nose to the bottom of her chin.
She has identified her Lyft driver — a man she remembers as approximately 6'2" or 6'3" and about 250 lbs. — with the help of a detective, and there a warrant out for his arrest. In a statement to People, Lyft reports that they "permanently removed the driver from the Lyft platform as soon as we learned of this incident" and both "reached out to Ms. Dunn to offer our support and are assisting law enforcement with their investigation."
However, Dunn shares, the process of finding and arresting the man "has been hell." She explains that "he hit 'complete the ride' after it was done. I didn't take a screenshot of his license information during the ride. All of that goes away when a ride is completed."
"All I had was a little tiny profile picture and his first name," Dunn says. "It's a slow process if you don't have all that info."
More than a month after her assault, Dunn has returned to her farm in Colorado, which she calls "a safe place for me right now." Still, she shares, "I wake up a couple of times throughout the night thinking I heard something — like someone's at my back door."
Musically, Dunn is set to release a new EP, In This Kind of Light, on Aug. 13.
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