MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Natalie Wright was at a Popeyes in Meriden when one of the passengers in her vehicle asked if there were cameras in the car.

Moments later, he put his belt around her neck.

“Suddenly, I see in my peripheral vision something coming over me, and then realizing what’s happening,” Wright, who drives for Lyft, said. “It’s just like, I was shocked. And as he was doing that, I was fighting to keep it off myself.”

Wright said she picked up two men in Middletown and was driving them to their final destination when they asked if she could stop at Popeyes. While in the drive-thru, one of the passengers became convinced that an iPad in the backseat used for games was recording him. He grew more paranoid, she recalled, started yelling, and then attacked her.

The man and the other passenger ran when they noticed a police vehicle in the area, according to police. Officers later identified the man who attacked her as Jonathan Dutch, who has been charged and held on a $50,000 bond.

Lyft told News 8 that it reached out to Wright to offer support and would help police with the investigation.

But the Connecticut Drivers United Foundation, which advocates for more safety measures in the ridesharing industry, said abuse from riders toward female drivers is all too common. And, because customers will often only use their first names, or give a fake one, they often get away with it.

“I feel like once you’re behind the wheel, or once you’re behind the register, or even when you’re waitressing, people treat you differently,” Wright said. “They don’t really treat you as a human. They don’t really respect that you have a life outside of your job and that you’re doing your best to make a living.”

She has minor bruising and is still shaken up from the incident. Because driving is her livelihood, she said, she plans to continue to work for Lyft.