A former Lyft driver accused of kidnapping three women to whom he gave rides in Austin tried to sexually assault another woman in Lakeway, according to a recently filed lawsuit and an affidavit.
That woman, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, is suing the ride-hailing service Lyft and 46-year-old Daniel Kifle after he was charged with attempting to sexually assault her this summer. Austin police had previously said Lakeway police were investigating a similar incident, but details about that case had not emerged.
Kifle is still in the Travis County Jail on three counts of kidnapping, two counts of attempted sexual assault and one count of robbery, all crimes that authorities say he committed while posing as a Lyft driver. Kifle was previously employed by Lyft as a driver, Austin police have said.
The woman in the Lakeway incident hailed a Lyft ride on June 7 from a bar on West Sixth Street, according to Kifle’s arrest affidavit.
She approached Kifle, whose vehicle had an illuminated Lyft sign, and asked if he was her driver. He said he was, and he drove her to her Lakeway house, the lawsuit says. When they arrived and the woman got out of the car, Kifle followed her and attempted to sexually assault her, the suit says.
She was able to fight him off, the suit says. As she pulled away, he pulled two rings off her finger, ran back to his car and sped away, according to the Kifle’s arrest affidavit.
Kifle is charged with both robbery and attempted sexual assault in this incident, his arrest affidavits show.
Lakeway police investigators also found that Kifle had pawned about 20 items of women’s jewelry since December, the affidavit says.
The lawsuit alleges that Kifle “had a history of sexual misconduct with ride-for-hire passengers going back to at least 2013.”
Arrest affidavits say Kifle kidnapped three other women — and attempted to sexually assault one of them — in three other separate incidents:
- On Oct. 28, authorities say Kifle picked up a woman and man who had just left a bar on West Sixth Street around 1:30 a.m. When they arrived at their destination on Grove Avenue, the man got out of the vehicle and walked around to help the woman get out, but Kifle took off, another arrest affidavit says. When police found the woman, she told them her underwear was missing. It’s unclear if Kifle sexually assaulted her, police have said.
- On June 3, police say Kifle picked up two women from West Sixth Street. When they arrived at their destination on South Lamar Boulevard, the woman in the front seat got out to help her friend out of the back seat, and Kifle took off before the woman could get to her friend, a separate arrest affidavit says.
- On June 9, Kifle picked up two women from West Sixth Street and drove them to Sinclair Avenue, police have said. He again sped off with a woman still in his vehicle, an affidavit says. The woman woke up to the driver trying to assault her, the affidavit says.