Troubled Mets great Lenny Dykstra claimed Friday he was a victim in last month’s incident involving an Uber driver that led to his arrest – and he intends to seek damages against the ride-share app.
“I mean, look, they don’t call me ‘Nails,’ because I’m like, you know, soft. I mean, look, I was literally in fear of my life and I called 911 and I was screaming that this man is crazy, he had kidnapped me,” Dykstra, wearing sunglasses and a Mets baseball hat, said alongside his lawyers at a Manhattan press conference.
Dykstra, 55, was charged with third-degree making of terroristic threats and drug offenses in connection to the 3:30 a.m. May 23 incident in New Jersey in which the hothead baseball legend allegedly put a weapon to his Uber driver’s head and threatened to kill him.
Cops did not recover any weapon, but authorities did find cocaine, MDMA and marijuana among Dykstra’s belongings, according to the Linden Police Department.
Dykstra’s attorney’s called the Friday press conference to give Dykstra’s side of the story and “set the record straight of what happened that night.”
Lawyers for the three-time All-Star claim that chaos sparked after Dykstra asked his Uber driver, identified as 47-year-old Brian Lutty, to take a specific route to Staten Island after the driver went the wrong way.
“There has been a lot of Uber nonsense out there, and we are here today to clear it up,” attorney Matthew Blit said. “That morning, Lenny Dysktra was the victim.”
Blit added that after Dykstra asked the driver to take a certain route “the driver then began to argue loudly with Lenny, yelling and screaming at him, going ballistic.”
“Lenny asked the driver to pull over and wanted to get out of the car. The driver sped up, locked the doors and engaged the child locks so that Lenny could not exit the vehicle,” Blit claimed, charging that the driver sped and weaved in and out of traffic.
Blit continued: “Lenny, scared for his life as every one of us would be, frantically grabs his cellphone and dials 911. Lenny is swerving back and forth in the cab because the car is going side to side. He loses 911. 911 calls him back, twice, as Lenny is in the back of the car fearing for his safety.”
The lawyer produced Dykstra’s phone records appearing to show the calls.
“Lenny was a victim. He was entrapped, false imprisoned, kidnapped, held hostage in the back of an Uber, trying to get out,” Blit claimed. “The police finally come to the scene and the driver panics and start screaming, ‘He tried to kill me.’ If someone is trying to kill you or plans to kill you, do you lock them in a car? Or do you open the doors and let him out?”
During the ordeal, Dykstra claims he said to the Uber driver: “What are you doing? You gonna kill me. What are you doing?”
“I mean all I asked him to do is go to the right destination,” said Dykstra. “He went crazy and, again, I literally thought this guy was going to kill me, OK.”
According to police reports obtained through an Open Public Records Act by website MyCentralJersey, the Uber driver told police that the ex-MLBer threatened “take me to Staten Island or I’ll blow your f—king head off.”
According to the documents, Dykstra “placed a black pill bag with an object [the driver] believed to be a gun to his head” as he made the alleged threat.
The Uber driver was “in fear for his life and stated that he believed Dykstra was going to kill him,” according to the documents, MyCentralJersey reported.
But Dykstra’s lawyers deny the allegations.
“There was no threats from Lenny. Lenny had a cellphone. Is anybody afraid of a cellphone?” lawyer Michael Brucki said. “We believe he [the driver] didn’t want to go to Staten Island.”
Meanwhile, Dykstra’s lawyers plan to seek damages against Uber and have already filed false imprisonment charges against the Uber driver in Linden Municipal Court.
“You hear every day….there is problems with Uber,” Brucki said. “You have an unregulated industry, that has no backgrounds, no checks, no licenses — anybody with a driver’s license can be your driver.”
An Uber spokesperson said in a statement to The Post regarding Dykstra’s allegations: “What’s been detailed has no place on our app and we’re reviewing the matter.”
Both Dykstra and the driver’s access to the Uber app has been removed while police investigate the incident.
Additional reporting by Danielle Furfaro
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