Man robs, pistol-whips Lyft driver at South El Monte gas station - Video staff KABC logo
Friday, May 14, 2021
Man robs, beats driver at South El Monte gas station
Authorities are looking for a suspect seen on video pistol-whipping a Lyft driver and robbing him of $1,560 in cash at a South El Monte gas station.

SOUTH EL MONTE, Calif. (KABC) -- Disturbing video captures a man robbing and pistol-whipping a Lyft driver at a gas station in South El Monte.

The video, which was recorded on the driver's camera, may serve as a critical clue to help police track down the suspect. The footage shows a man with a handgun getting in the backseat of his car on May 11 at the ARCO station at Rush Street and Rosemead Boulevard in South El Monte around 9:20 p.m.

The suspect is seen arguing with the driver, 67-year-old Paul Liao, for more than a minute in the video. He demands money and grab's the driver's cellphone. He also apparently tried to get the driver to leave the car but after some discussion the driver was apparently able to dissuade the suspect from stealing the car.

He handed over the wallet, which held $1,560 in cash, according to his family. Twice during the encounter the suspect beat the driver in the face with the gun, leaving him with a bruised and bloody nose.

The driver's family has established a GoFundMe to help replace the stolen cash and cellphone as well as help with medical expenses.

The suspect remains on the loose.

Authorities are investigating the case as a possible hate crime.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.