A man who allegedly threatened a Lyft driver with a large knife – and later stole his vehicle and crash – has been charged with multiple felonies in Ramsey County District Court.
According to a criminal complaint, 30-year-old Hehaka Hi Provencial, of St. Paul, got into a Lyft driver's Toyota RAV4 shortly before midnight on March 25. The driver was of the belief that Provencial was the client who ordered the ride.
Provencial directed the driver to take him to Minneapolis. Soon after, the actual client who requested the fare called. That prompted the Lyft driver to tell Provencial that he needed to drop him off and pick up the actual client.
At that point, the criminal complaint states that Provencial pulled out a large, kitchen-style knife and held it to the driver's throat, instructing him to "Take me to Minneapolis."
After he took the knife from his neck, the driver pulled over and fled on foot to call police at a nearby gas station. That's when Provencial stole the Toyota RAV4 and crashed at Edgerton St. and Iowa Ave. in St. Paul.
Witness said the vehicle struck other vehicles and flipped upside down. Provencial crawled out of a passenger window and walked away.
Officers found a large knife inside the overturned vehicle and were able to match DNA from the knife to Provencial. Earlier this month, the Lyft driver identified Provencial in a photo lineup.
Provencial has been charged with first-degree aggravated robbery, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, and motor vehicle theft.
The complaint notes that Provencial has prior felony convictions for aggravated robbery, false imprisonment, and carjacking.