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Lyft driver allegedly held at knife-point in Burbank

Lyft driver allegedly held at knife-point in Burbank
Armen Simonyan, 32, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon by Burbank police on June 2 after allegedly threatening a Lyft driver with a knife. (Burbank Leader)

A Burbank man was taken into custody earlier this month after he reportedly held his Lyft driver at knife-point, according to authorities.

Armen Simonyan, 32, was arrested by Burbank police on June 2 after he allegedly held a pocket knife to the Lyft driver’s neck after the driver reportedly refused to stop at a convenience store so that Simonyan could buy alcohol.

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Sgt. Derek Green, a department spokesman, said the incident occurred sometime around 10 p.m. after the driver picked up Simonyan in the Sunland-Tujunga area by the driver for a ride into Burbank.

Simonyan asked the driver to stop by a convenience store to buy alcohol, but he refused to deviate from the assigned Lyft route, according to Green.

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The driver told officers Simonyan appeared to have been under the influence of narcotics and had become increasingly hostile during the ride. Eventually, the driver felt uncomfortable and, out of concern for his own safety, stopped the ride early to let Simonyan out near the intersection of Glenoaks Boulevard and Buena Vista Street.

At that point, Green said the driver called 911. When Simonyan found out, he allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened the man, Green said.

Ten minutes later, Simonyan also called 911 to report that he had been in an altercation with the driver.

Officers responding to the call were unable to find a knife at the scene after searching the area. However, they determined Simonyan was under the influence of drugs and took him into custody.

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The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has since charged him with one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

Simonyan was out on probation at the time of his arrest for an assault conviction. He is currently being held without bail.

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