Uber passenger caught assaulting driver on camera arrested, loses job
A California man who was caught on camera drunkenly assaulting an Uber driver over the weekend lost his job as a corporate manager for Taco Bell, the company said Monday.
Benjamin Golden, 32, was arrested in Costa Mesa Friday on misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and assaulting a taxicab operator, a police spokesman told the Los Angeles Times. Video posted on YouTube by driver Edward Caban shows Golden slapping, hitting and pulling Caban's hair after the driver tells Golden to leave the car for being too drunk.
Caban said Golden eventually left the car after the driver deployed pepper spray. Golden was arrested shortly thereafter. Costa Mesa police spokesman Sgt. Jerry Souza told the Times that Caban shared a longer version of the YouTube video with police.
The video shows Golden arguing with Caban over directions. Caban eventually pulls into the parking lot of a shopping center to order Golden out of his car. The dispute escalates before Caban finally says, "Get out of my car or I will call the police."
Taco Bell, which is based in nearby Irvine, Calif., told the Los Angeles Times that Golden had worked as a marketing manager. However, "[g]iven the behavior of the individual, it is clear he can no longer work for us," the company said in a statement. "We have also offered and encouraged him to seek professional help."
Uber spokeswoman Kayla Whaling told the Times that Golden has been permanently barred from using the transit service. Golden was later released from police custody after giving a written promise to appear in court.