Suspect arrested in connection with robbery, pistol-whipping of Lyft driver in South El Monte

SOUTH EL MONTE, Calif. (KABC) -- A suspect has been arrested after disturbing video captured a Lyft driver getting robbed and pistol-whipped at a gas station in South El Monte, authorities said Wednesday.

The suspect was not immediately identified. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says more details regarding the arrest will be announced at a Thursday press conference.

The video, which was recorded on the driver's camera, shows a man with a handgun getting in the backseat of the car on May 10 at the ARCO station at Rush Street and Rosemead Boulevard 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 had established a GoFundMe to help replace the stolen cash and cellphone as well as help with medical expenses.

Authorities were investigating the case as a possible hate crime.

Thursday's press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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