Lyft driver arrested for driving with 17 license suspensions, police say

Leith Crossen told police he was dropping off a Lyft passenger. Lyft denies he was driving for them at the time.
Lyft's new Amp glows on the dashboard of a car
Lyft's new Amp glows on the dashboard of a car.Josh Edelson / AP Images for Lyft

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By Janelle Griffith

A man who told police he was driving for Lyft was arrested Saturday on Long Island, New York, after a check of his driver's license revealed it had been suspended 17 times.

Leith Crossen, 57, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, was in a Volkswagen Jetta near Cold Spring Harbor train station when an officer responding to a 911 call of a possible intoxicated driver found him stopped in the car at about 9:35 p.m., Suffolk County police said.

Crossen was not intoxicated and had run out of gas after dropping off a passenger, police said. A check of his driver's license showed it had been suspended 17 times, according to police.

Crossen was charged with first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a felony.

He was scheduled to be arraigned on Sunday at Suffolk County District Court. It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer.

Lyft told NBC News on Sunday that Crossen was not working for the ride-hailing company Saturday and that he passed a background and Department of Motor Vehicle check in March.

"The driver's license this individual provided when applying to drive with Lyft did not show any disqualifying driving records," a spokeswoman said. "He has not driven on the Lyft platform since April and is permanently banned from driving with Lyft."