Syracuse.com published THIS article about Ride Safe, our New York staff member Chris O’Connel and myself.
The article was written by Patrick Lohmann of Syracuse.com
Update** 11:09pm-cst 2-10-2018 Still no complaints, threats or lawsuits against Ride Safe or O’connell. Patrick Lohmann and Syracuse.com still trying to ignore the situation.
Our Email is still empty of complaints, no phone calls, no snail mail. While Uber and Lyft drivers in Syracuse have still been harassing Chris O’connell, no one else in the Syracuse community has said anything or even acted as though the article exists.
Update** 8:30am 2-10-2018 Still not a peep from Uber, Lyft, any of their drivers or a single “enraged” party from Syracuse as claimed by Patrick Lohmann.
The email in box for Ride Safe complaints and communications lay dormant on the issue of Patrick Lohmann’s article. No one has communicated a cease and desist to remove a single license plate from Ride Safe’s database.
WHERE are these “offended” parties? If Lohmann’s claims were true in any way, this would have resulted in at least ONE multi million dollar lawsuit, a TRO and/or a single cease and desist order by now.
Yet not a single party including Uber and Lyft have stepped forward to back up Lohmann’s claims or validate them with legal action of ANY kind.
Update** 6:31pm 2-9-2018 Twitter video response:
*Correction, I meant Stephen King’s DARK TOWER, not “watch tower”*
Update** 1:37am 2-10-2017
Another alteration was made to the syracuse.com article an hour after publication yet a looming Typo still remains.
A handful of rideshare shills began commenting on the article, trolling my corrections to their snyde comments and fraudulent claims made by Lohmann in the article. ONE adult actually showed up asking real questions and engaging with answers in a mature exchange.
Then the shills dropped off the face of the earth one by one when no actual action or warnings to Ride Safe could be found by ANY Uber or Lyft driver that Lohman eluded to in the article.
If there are rightfully enraged or wronged parties, then where are the lawsuits, letters, warnings, a single cease and desist filed or even ONE SINGLE EMAIL in complaint to Ride Safe?
Uber. Lyft and their drivers never show up for a reason, BECAUSE THEY KNOW what will happen when they do.
They will have to answer questions that will always incriminate them with FRAUD.
The same exposure that Patrick Lohmann now faces as each passing moment brings him closer and closer to another day in the knowledge that he lied, he eviscerated his career and no one with Uber or Lyft from top brass to bottom feeder is going to be able to ever spin an honest yarn to back him up or come to his aid.
Activity around the article dropped off not even six hours after publication. Most of the clickstream has been directing people to THIS correction article here on Ride Safe and Google still likes us a lot more for sticking to the truth and knowing how to meta properly.
Upon investigating the syracuse.com site further, I found more shill articles for Uber and Lyft.
While Lohmann did not attain the state, national or world reach he was shooting for, Chris O’connell has been brutally harassed since it’s publication in the Syracuse community.
Lohmann could have simply made his claims about Ride Safe or me and left it at that as I expressly requested of him and he assured me in our interview. Instead he went after Chris to make it personal and take a jab at me out of contempt.
One would assume from Lohmann’s writing that he were more progressive than to be Shilling for Donald J. Trumps #1 loved tech company and prevailing wage destroying economic model.
Lohmann is getting the full Cartmell treatment for this. When you go after me and me alone you are at least respectable enough to contend with without incurring my wrath. But Patrick Lohmann decided to hurt someone else because he thought it would cause me to bow to his propaganda without retort. I Had less of an issue with Matt Mueller and his Karma had taken it’s toll LONG before he flew out that windshield to his final reward.
Patrick Lohmann, has been issued a fair notice to retract what he has done.
The law sees all, the law is everywhere.
Truth is the only law.
Update** 2:15pm (2/9/2018 fraudulent claim in Lohmann’s article found)
In the article Lohmann rather poorly attempts to tie together a claim of fraud by stating our recordsfinder.com and carfax.com checks to not INDIVIDUALLY indicate a lack of insurance on the part of any Uber or Lyft driver. Ine the interview with Lohmann I CLEARLY stated more than once that The recordsfinder.com and carfax.com reports DO NOT individually indicate insurance coverage. Information in each report is cross referenced and compared against local laws.
From Lohmann’s article:
For the insurance check, La Plante said he enters the license plate number into RecordsFinder.com to get information about the vehicle’s owner, and he requests a CarFax report to determine whether the driver has insurance.
However, representatives from both RecordsFinder.com and CarFax said they don’t provide that information.
Also, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Motor Vehicles said the only way to determine whether a driver has insurance based on his or her license plate number is through a Freedom of Information Law request, which can take months.
What Lohmann neglects to mention is that in our interview I clearly stated to Lohmann that components of each report have to be cross referenced with other reports AND local legislation BEFORE a determination is made and the plate is reported publicly. NY State DOT records also do not carry as much information on driver vetting and insurance as the simple comparison to the driver’s open records provided by recordsfinder.com, carfax.com and to local laws, which in this case CLEARLY indicate Uber and Lyft drivers ARE NOT properly insured or their drivers properly vetted ANYWHERE in Syracuse or the state of New York for that matter.
Just as any insurance investigator or ANY INVESTIGATOR for that mater will tell you, individual reports do not conclude final verdicts OR dictate them.
Uber can claim to “have” an insurance policy but then invalidate that coverage by combining fraudulent invalidation of liability in their driver and customer contracting and the deregulation of liability allowed by local laws.
Instead of using different agencies to create fraudulent claims as Mr. Lohmann has, Ride Safe uses different reporting agencies to find the TRUTH that Uber, Lyft and Lohmann prefer to hide form the public.
This is my response from the comment section of the article on syracuse.com with notes.
I am the administrator of Ride Safe,
Chris O’Connell is concerned for his community and has acted to defend it. Notice how the author ignored THE CARFAX report on the vehicle *(I mentioned to him when he interviewed me) and also how THE VEHICLE’S OWNER has refused to provide any proof of their own or even chime in on the article.
*(Ride safe keeps driver identity confidential unless they are found to be a felon or sex offender, obviously THIS driver doesn’t feel they have a stable argument any more than the sex offenders and violent felons we find driving for Uber and Lyft)
Checking with NY state DOT IS NOT the only way to verify insurance and ANY insurance investigator can tell you that.
*(Lohmann claims it is the ONLY way in his article.)
I do notice that Lyft article right above this article as well. It makes a nice screen capture that will appear in our response to this shill piece.
*(Like EVERY other publication, broadcaster or basement dwelling online troll that has tried to claim fraud against Ride Safe or myself these last four years.)
Notice how the author ALSO refuses to admit that the current Rideshare/TNC regs in NY make it perfectly clear that ALL Uber and Lyft vehicles operating in the state DO NOT HAVE comprehensive insurance agreements just by operating for Uber and Lyft.
*(Not to mention that they are virtually a carbon copy of the Rideshare/TNC laws in Illinois, Indiana (passed by mike pence, even), Michigan and RIGHT HERE in Wisconsin. Almost as if they had the same author.)
Also, what exactly did the author and/or editor notice in this article that they felt the need to remove only 10 minuets after posting it??
‘Updated 11:50 AM; Posted 10:10 AM’
*(SERIOUSLY!, if you are going to incriminate yourself this badly in posting shill, AT LEAST proof read BEFORE publication. What exactly had to be removed or corrected from this already mind numbing attempt at tabloid?)
I’ve dealt with A LOT of shill media outlets over the years and even though this article isn’t the most idiotic I’ve seen, it certainly is the most hilarious.
WHY waste these resources just to be exposed as another shill for a worthless, dangerous and failing industry?
You should see the testimony I just made here in Wisconsin yesterday to the state assembly.
No one at that hearing was making dumb and baseless accusations on Ride Safe’s work and these are LEGISLATORS with A LOT more at stake than you.
*(and your poorly proofed publication.)
I thank you for the exposure and verification of what we do through your pathetic attempt at accusation.
It is MUCH appreciated and will be fun to expose.
Justin La Plante
The accusations from syracuse.com are not the most insulting part of this. As I stated, there have been far worse and baseless accusations are easy to ignore.
But I made sure to specifically inform Mr. Lohmann in our interview that our staff and those reporting plates ARE NOT the one’s responsible, I AM.
If anyone in Syracuse has an issue with this, you take it up WITH ME Justin La Plante, administrator of this Non-profit and the one fully liable for it’s publications and actions. Chris is doing what is best for his community and acting responsibly in the interest of public safety.
Uber and Lyft vehicles in syracuse reported to our system WILL continue to be submitted and appear on our website in public warnings.
If ANY Uber or Lyft driver in Syracuse or any other community reported on our website can provide us PROOF that is irrefutable that you have proper vetting and insurance to protect your customers and the public from any incidental damages you may cause, PLEASE FORWARD IT TO ME DIRECT. If verified and factual information is provided, I will GLADLY remove your vehicle’s plate form our database and deliver a very public and very honest apology in article and video format.
But in over four years of doing this, UBER AND LYFT haven’t even stepped up to defend their own drivers to me or even the public in light of the evidence Ride Safe has presented and I’ve seen not a single lawsuit pass my way outside of one VERY poor attempt that got three very popular Uber and Lyft youtube personalities in A LOT of trouble.
Patrick Lohmann can thank his lucky stars for NOT taking his accusations far enough to be legally actionable but he isn’t going to be getting many serious job offers after this.
I advise the editors of Syracuse.com to monitor your publication closer in the future.
-Justin La Plante
Update (1:59pm 2/9/2018) Post publication email exchange with Patrick Lohmann (My email account name on Google is Anthony Zelot use of a real name on google causes A LOT of spam activity on your account):
THANK YOU!!! this article is AWESOME!!
Anthony Zelot email@example.com
1:20 PM (36 minutes ago)
Thus far I got plenty of threats and other baseless claims like those stated in your article and the exposure on our site traffic to the article debunking YOUR article is THROUGH THE ROOF.
I hope your editors take it easy on you.
My testimony from yesterday went very well:
I appear just over half way through.
I do take serious issue with what you have done to Chris O’connel.
I DID tell you that I am the person responsible for Ride Safe and your wrongful insinuations that he is somehow liable for any sort of fraud is both defamatory and entirely tabloid in nature.
It is MY choice when a vehicle report is done to put it on public notice and I am ultimately responsible.
Chris was acting in respect to his own community, YOU are not.
This was a VERY bad attempt at journalism Patrick.
1:37 PM (20 minutes ago)
Thanks for reaching out. Sorry you didn’t like the story, but you should not have been surprised by what I ended up reporting. Also, you’re mischaracterizing what I said in it. For one, Carfax and RecordsFinder both told me on the record that you have no way of determining the insurance status of a vehicle based on the information you told me you received. I did not state in the article that DOT is the only source of the insurance information.
And you acknowledged that commercial insurance is– in your interpretation –the only way an Uber or Lyft driver would satisfy your interpretation of “insured”. That’s possibly a sound legal interpretation, but it’s not what your website claims to do. Then you gave me incorrect information about the way you made that determination.
Second, Chris O’Connell is an adult capable of making his own choices and statements. He’s a local guy interacting with local drivers, accountable to his community and its newspaper. I think I fairly represented his views.
I’ll continue to look into the situation for drivers here when it comes to insurance and the state’s regulatory apparatus. I appreciate a lot of your opinions about Uber. This story is critical of the way you go about spreading your message.
Anthony Zelot firstname.lastname@example.org
1:57 PM (0 minutes ago)
Patrick, you are leaving out the fact of the legislation in new york that makes it IMPOSSIBLE to legally claim that ANY Uber or Lyft is properly insured, the fact that even Uber and lyft can no longer legally claim to be properly insured and the FACT THAT NO ONE of the drivers you mention in the artilce complaining about this OR EVEN THE DRIVER of the vehicle you asked me about have come forward to complain, identify themselves or submit a complaint to me directly.
You selectively reported and that Lyft ad is RIGHT THERE above YOUR ARTICLE.
What you did was fine enough for the purpose and it’s effect is as usless as any other shill who has come at me these last years BUT, you falsely incriminated Chris and you lied to me AFTER I told you who at ride safe is ultimately liable for all of this, ME.
You should watch the testimony I delivered yesterday at the state hearing:
I appear just over half way through the hearing.
Chris doesn’t deserve what you did to him and your career record will show for that.
I HAVE TO INTERVIEW ANOTHER UBER RAPE VICTIM TODAY.
I sincerely hope you live a very long and very happy life.