(LOS ANGELES) — An early evening Uber pick-up turned violent this weekend, when an intoxicated passenger unleashed an attack on his driver, all caught on the victim’s camera, police said.
An intoxicated man requested an Uber ride from a bar in Newport Beach, California, on Friday night, but while in the car, he was “unable to clearly give directions,” the Costa Mesa police said.
In the video, obtained by ABC News station KABC-TV in Los Angeles, the passenger is seen having trouble staying up-right in the back seat. The driver told KABC-TV that the passenger started to become aggressive.
The driver stopped in a parking lot in Costa Mesa, California, police said, and told the passenger to get out.
“Get out of my car or I will call the police,” the driver says in the video.
And that’s when the passenger, identified by police as Benjamin Golden, attacked. Golden reached in front of him and hit the driver several times in the head, according to the video, and then yanked the victim’s head back and forth.
The driver used pepper spray to defend himself, police said, noting that Golden was arrested on assault and disorderly conduct/being drunk in public charges.
Costa Mesa Police declined to release the victim’s name, but Edward Caban identified himself as the driver in an interview with KABC-TV.
“Unfortunately, when the incident happened, it was at 8:00 at night and I was just about to call it a night,” Caban told KABC-TV. “I didn’t think that something like this would happen this early in the night. I stopped driving these 2 a.m. shifts a long time ago, for this very reason.”
Caban, who has been driving for Uber since July, told KABC-TV that he had trouble with passengers before, but this was the first time he was attacked by a passenger.
The Uber driver complained of some pain after the incident, police said. Caban told KABC-TV he suffered some minor bruises.
Caban is looking for a new job, he told KABC-TV, because he said he doesn’t feel safe working as a driver.
An Uber spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News: “We’ve been in contact with Mr. Caban and are thankful he is doing OK. We will provide any information to the investigating authorities as needed. The rider involved in this incident has been permanently banned from the platform.”
Uber also told ABC News that no Uber ride is anonymous and the company is committed to offering a safe, reliable transportation option. Uber said it constantly monitors trips and listens to the feedback from both drivers and riders. Uber also said drivers have the discretion to deny or end a trip if they feel unsafe at any point.
Caban and Golden could not be immediately reached by ABC News for comment.
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