Family demands answers about Lyft ride from school allegedly ordered for 5-year-old

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A mom is looking for answers after she claims her 5-year-old child was picked up from school Monday by a Lyft driver no one in her family called.

Makel Heyward goes to school at Springfield Elementary in West Ashley. Normally, he gets picked up around 6 p.m. from his after-school program. But on Monday, his mom was running late and she got a call saying someone came to pick up her child before she got there.

She says that person was a Lyft driver, and she didn't know who called for that car.

"My mind was just like, 'Where is my child? Who picked up my child?' I was just frantic," the boy's mother, Marlesha Heyward said.

Marlesha was stuck in traffic on 526 so she was running late. She says she received a call from the after-school program director, an employee of Charleston County School District.

Marlesha apologized for being late and explained that she would be there soon or her mother would be there soon to pick up the child.

A bit later, while she was still on the way, she said she received another call that the child had already been picked up. She spent several minutes at the school calling every family member that she could think of trying to figure out who may have grabbed her child.

It turns out that the Lyft driver was ordered by someone named Abby, she said.

"She just assumed, 'Okay, that's his ride.' And it wasn't. It was a complete stranger, it wasn't even my mother."

Marlesha still doesn't know who that is or who ordered the Lyft, but the driver went to drop off the child at an address that wasn't his home.

Makel recognized it wasn't his home and that's when the Lyft driver called police.

Marlesha says she's thankful her child is alright, but she's upset with how the Charleston County School District employee handled the situation.

"From her perspective, it was an honest, genuine mistake," Heyward said. "But in the event that something were to happen to my child, a 'sorry,' being apologetic, wouldn't have brought him back."

A spokesperson from the school district said in a statement, "CCSD is committed to ensuring that our students' health, wellness, and safety is our highest priority. We are aware of an incident that occurred at Springfield Elementary School, and are currently involved in a thorough and active investigation based on allegations."

According to district officials, a school employee involved in the incident is on administrative leave.

The Charleston Police Department says it is also currently investigating the incident and trying to identify the person who ordered the Lyft.

"By the grace of God, my child is safe," Heyward said. "But I still want answers, I do want justice."

Lyft has not responded to request for a comment on the incident, but the company's website says drivers should not give rides to minors under the age of 17 without an accompanying adult.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.