GoFundMe Raises Over $24K for Lyft Driver Whose Robbery, Pistol-Whipping Captured on Video

A GoFundMe has raised nearly $25,000 for a Lyft driver who was robbed and pistol-whipped in a Tuesday incident recorded on video, far exceeding its initial $3,000 goal.

Paul Liao, a 67-year-old Lyft driver in South El Monte, California, was the alleged victim of the robbery and assault that left him bloodied, according to local police.

The suspect in the video recording can be seen arguing with Liao for about a minute before he grabs the Lyft driver's cell phone and attempted to steal the vehicle. Liao later told police he handed over his wallet which contained $1,560 in cash, but the suspect still beat him with the pistol he was seen holding in the video.

A GoFundMe account started by a woman named Christine Ting, the purported daughter-in-law of the Lyft driver victim, has managed to raise nearly $25,000 in just over 24 hours.

"Hi, this gofundme is for my father-in-law Paul. He is a Lyft and Uber driver. He also provides designated driving services when he's not driving for Lyft/Uber. He loves driving and he has been providing rideshare services throughout the entire pandemic," Ting wrote on the GoFundMe page created Friday.

"Paul was mugged and robbed of his cellphone and $1560 cash from his designated driver service earnings on 5/11 at the ARCO gas station on Rush and Rosemead Blvd in South El Monte. The man had his hand on the trigger of his gun and tried to carjack him. He hit him in the face twice and the entire process was recorded by his dash cam," she continued.

KABC-TV reported Friday that authorities are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. The suspect has not been apprehended as of Saturday morning.

Liao received a bloody nose from the pistol-whipping that was caught on video and occurred as the suspect, who could be seen wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates ball cap, exited the vehicle with the driver's wallet. The family reiterated to the local ABC station that they are seeking help with Liao's medical expenses following the incident.

The family said the suspect attempted to steal the car, but Liao refused to hand over the vehicle and was pistol-whipped as a result. The incident occurred on Tuesday outside the ARCO station at Rush Street and Rosemead Boulevard in South El Monte, around 9:20 p.m. local time.

Newsweek reached out to the GoFundMe organizer as well as Lyft app company representatives for any additional information regarding the incident.

Driver holding a steering wheel
A stock image of a driver holding a steering wheel. A Lyft driver was robbed at gunpoint in an attempted carjacking. Zephyr18/Getty