Man accused of sexually assaulting Lyft driver in Mishawaka

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - A man is behind bars after allegedly sexually assaulting his Lyft driver in Mishawaka on Monday.

Devlin Bertha is charged with sexual battery, battery and possession of methamphetamine in connection with the incident.

The victim, who police say was shaking and had smudged lipstick when they spoke to her, said she picked up Bertha from a restaurant on Main Street in Mishawaka and that he insisted on sitting in the front seat.

Sometime into the drive, Bertha allegedly grabbed the victim’s throat and began applying pressure to it. As he squeezed, Bertha started kissing her, according to police reports.

The victim asked Bertha to stop, or she would crash. She said Bertha did not squeeze her throat tightly enough to cause pain or trouble breathing but that she feared Bertha would rape her.

When her low gas light came on, the victim pulled into a gas station and found an officer to ask for help.

Bertha was still in the victim’s vehicle when the officer approached and said the victim was flirting with him, according to police reports. Though he admitted to kissing the victim and touching her neck, Bertha said he didn’t touch her aggressively, police said.

While searching Bertha during his arrest, police found a bag of unmarked green and blue pills that tested positive for methamphetamine.

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