LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — A DoorDash driver is warning others after she found herself in a potentially dangerous situation.
The local woman was trying to make some extra money delivering food, but instead received an unsolicited request for sex.
“You put a fear in me that I never experienced,” Dye Cleveland said, “and it’s probably going to stay with me for the rest of my life.”
She dropped off a DoorDash order to a man in the Lakewood area of Lee’s Summit. She walked back to her car when he messaged her — offering a cash tip. But he wanted something else in return.
Cleveland has delivered about 200 DoorDash orders and said she’s never felt unsafe.
But Wednesday night, as it was getting dark, this encounter was different.
“I dropped it off to this man. He grabbed it,” Cleveland said. “He said ‘Thank you.’ I said, ‘You’re welcome.'”
Cleveland walked back to her car and got this message from the man: “Have a tip for you cash if you’d like?”
Cleveland was about 5 feet from the door when her phone went off again.
“He said, ‘come down and get on your knees for a $20 tip,'” she recalled.
She immediately went back to the car. Cleveland said he tried calling, and when she didn’t answer he sent this: “If it’s good, I can raise the price, completely up to you.”
“It shook me. I was crying,” Cleveland said.
“I was in front of his door. Something could have happened. If I was even closer, could he have came out the door and grabbed me? Like, why would he say something that disgusting to something who is just trying to get some extra cash after work one day?”
Cleveland said a DoorDash employee told her that was sexual harassment, and they deactivated his account. They also blocked all communication from the man to Cleveland.
“My mistake was I got too comfortable,” Cleveland said. “Don’t feel too comfortable because a comfortable experience can turn deadly in a second.”
Working for you, FOX4 asked the Lee’s Summit Police Department how people — and delivery drivers — can stay safe?
“It’s a very serious matter for us,” Lee’s Summit police Sgt. Chris Depue said.
Depue said it’s smart to trust your instincts, be aware of your surroundings and make sure others know where you’re located.
“There’s so many great apps on our phones now,” Depue said, “whether that be Life 360 or Find My iPhone, where we can let other people know where we’re at and what we’re doing. It’s kind of like having a virtual buddy in the car with us.”
Cleveland agreed and said she’s also investing in some self-defense safeguards.
“So now I have pepperspray,” Cleveland said. “I keep that on me at all times.”
Cleveland also said it’s a shame that women have to go to these lengths to protect themselves.
Cleveland has stopped driving for DoorDashing but will drive in the future and take those extra safety precautions. She encourages other women to do the same.