LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — An Uber driver says she was assaulted and threatened by a customer but that the company refuses to help her identify the suspect.
It’s a story that is Only On 2.
The driver, who didn’t want her face shown, spoke to CBS2’s Peter Daut on Wednesday.
Daut says the driver, a 51-year-old grandmother trying to earn extra money, was attacked while picking up passengers on Vermont Friday evening. She told Daut she’s worried it could happen again.
“My children flashed before me, that’s how scary it was for me,” says the driver.
She says she had just picked up two men who slammed the door of her SUV so hard that she asked them not to destroy her property.
They began cursing her, she says. One of the men said, “‘I’ll show you what destroying your property is like.'”
The driver says one of the men then jumped out of the car, pulled a thorny rose off a nearby bush, and then used it to hit her — repeatedly — in the face.
She took photos on her cellphone of the aftermath.
“He hit me at close contact so it actually hurt,” the driver said.
The men eventually took off by jumping into another Uber car.
She called 911 and filed a police report. The driver said she also wanted to report the incident to Uber but there is no phone number to call.
Instead she sent several emails to Uber describing the attack and asking for the passengers’ information.
She says she got an email back the next day denying her request.
“It’s hard to be out there working as hard as I do, and to not feel supported by them,” she explained.
Uber sent CBS2 a statement, which says in part:
“Our heart goes out to this valued driver-partner and we take incidents like these very seriously. Pending an investigation, we have removed the rider’s access to the Uber platform.”
The company also called the driver for the first time tonight, five days after the attack and after CBS2 got involved.
She says she wants Uber to set up an emergency hotline and release the information of passengers who commit crimes.
“This person cannot be left alone to continue to do what he’s done because he will strike again,” she said.
Daut asked Uber why they don’t have an emergency phone number for drivers and they responded that the fastest way for drivers to get get help is by contacting police and then to follow up with the company so they can assist the authorities.