Oh the night of October 5, New York Driver Shaun Pepas picked up Robert Ortiz and his friends. It is unclear where they were destined to be, but the ride came to an abrupt halt after Ortiz allegedly asked for music to be played and Pepas flatly told Ortiz and company no. From there, the car was pulled over and Ortiz had called the police. What follows is a 16 minute recording of Pepas exercising the patience of the ancestors as he calmly records Ortiz first arguing with the police (presumably a 911 operator) and then battling the Lyft (Uber? because it’s unclear) representatives.
Throughout the tirade, Ortiz reveals his government name (Robert Ortiz), his actual phone number, as well as one of his alleged employers: City MD. Ortiz can also be heard claiming that Pepas is “racist against gays” because he (Ortiz) is “not black.” Ortiz also states that he fears for his safety because of Pepas (the driver), and so concludes that he should stay in Pepas’s (the driver’s) car. Additionally, Ortiz declares that he pays his taxes so that people like Pepas can be here, and that he (Ortiz) voted for Trump.
Why he thought doing this while being recorded was advantageous, we may never know.
The total cost of the ride was a little over eight dollars.
However, we do know that social media hasn’t taken kindly to the video and has now dropped anchor at the City MD Facebook page to make their dissatisfaction with the employee known.
The story is developing. As the complaints continue to mount, we will continue to monitor City MD’s response.
In the meantime, Shaun Pepas has set up a GoFundMe campaign. In it, he states:
When my mother died she taught me a very important lesson, which was always useful but more now than ever. She taught patience, humble and calm will get you through anything. As a father of 2 my single means of providing for my wife and children is driving a rideshare, accommodating people from all walks of life, All of which i treat with the utmost respect, after all I must provide for my family.
The video pretty much speaks for itself has to what happen but what the video doesn’t show is what happened next. After the end of the video, i had to also call the police for myself expressing my concerns and fear of what will happen if i was not assisted. Luckily there was no physical confrontation but the company i drive with felt it necessary to cancel my account pending investigation. Unfortunately expenses weren’t suspended and I am left to dig myself out of an awfully stressful predicament. I didn’t ask for this nor did i want this. I know America is better than this and despite the hate we have to deal with from a few, my heart tells me, the world is mostly good. I ask for help, So i can get myself off the ground and back to providing for my family again. Any and every help offered will be greatly appreciated even the prayers for my family and myself.
We reached out to Robert Ortiz via the phone number he provided in the video. We did not receive a response.
City MD has responded to a comment via FB and will more than likely make a more general public statement soon:
Update: Shaun Pepas has spoken out via FB Live video here.