Exclusive: Fired Taco Bell Marketing Manager Says ‘It’s Not Me’ In Uber Driver Assault Video

COSTA MESA (CBSLA.com) — A Newport Beach man captured on a now-viral video in an assault on an Uber driver in Costa Mesa last week said he is ashamed of his actions and has reached out to a counselor for help.

Ben Golden, 32, told CBS2’s Michele Gile that he does not remember the events of Oct. 30, when he was caught on a dashcam video repeatedly hitting Uber driver Edward Caban, grabbing the driver’s hair and attempting to slam the driver’s head into a window.

The incident ended when Caban turned around and pepper-sprayed Golden.

“It’s not me in the video,” Golden said. “It was hard to watch. I’m ashamed.”

Golden was taken into custody Friday night and released Saturday. But he told Gile that he did not know why he was thrown in jail.

“I didn’t know what happened until I saw this video,” he said.

On Monday, Golden was fired from his job as a marketing manager at Taco Bell.

Meanwhile, the video of the assault has amassed more than 2 million views on YouTube.

“I’ve been trying not to read what’s being said,” he said.

He said he does not recognize the obviously intoxicated and belligerent person in the video.

“I’ve seen the video a couple times,” he said. “It’s not me in the video.”

Golden said he’d like Caban to know he’s “sincerely sorry.”

Golden has been charged with four misdemeanor counts of assault and battery. He is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 17.

He faces up to a year in jail or a $10,000 fine if convicted. Prosecutors are expected to ask that his bail be raised to $20,000.

Golden said he’s hoping for a second chance and would like to meet with Caban, who has filed a lawsuit.

Golden said that earlier Wednesday he reached out to a counselor for help.

“Everything’s fallen apart, and it’s my own doing,” he said.

Golden said he was also arrested three and a half years ago in Kentucky for DUI.

Caban’s attorney told City News Service that Caban was so frightened by the incident that he has been sleeping with a shotgun nearby.

“This is basically a nightmare for him. He’s having a very, very tough time sleeping,” the attorney, Rivers Morrell III, said Wednesday. “As of yesterday I don’t think he’s slept at all.”

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