COSTA MESA CBSLA.com) — An Orange County man is behind bars Sunday following an alleged assault on an Uber driver Friday evening.
The assault was captured on the driver’s dashboard camera.
The driver, in turn, following being slapped several times pepper sprays the passenger as he finally gets out of the vehicle.
The driver, Edward Caban, posted the video on YouTube.
He wrote that after picking up the man in Newport Beach, the suspect asked to go to Costa Mesa but didn’t know where he was going.
Caban tells the man he is drunk and too inebriated to give him directions and “the ride is over.”
The suspect refuses to leave the vehicle. “Are you serious?,” he asks the driver.
(Warning: Video is violent and filled with expletives)
The man begs to continue going. When Caban tells him “Get out of the car or I’m calling police,” the suspect opens his door, but doesn’t get out. “Let me tell you something you little (expletive deleted” and he begins to repeatedly slap the driver hard, in the side of the face.
When Caban tries to recoil, the man is showing pulling his hair to get a better shot at Caban and pulls his head into the headrest and then shakes his head violently. The suspect calls the driver “A f—-ing bitch,” and hits him a few more times. He slaps him hard enough that the man’s baseball cap falls off.
At this point, Caban turns and hits aims pepper spray into the man’s eyes. The man tries to use his baseball cap and hands to shield himself from the pepper spray. He gets out of the vehicle and appears disoriented.
Caban unbuckles his seat belt, also gets out and calls out to the man, “Call the police. Call the police. Please. You got maced (expletive deleted)!”
Costa Mesa Police confirmed to CBS2/KCAL9 the passenger — identified as 32-year-old Benjamin Golden — has been arrested for assault on a taxi driver and public intoxication. Golden is reportedly a senior associate brand manager for marketing for Taco Bell.
On Sunday evening, Caban spoke to CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Cristy Fajardo about his ordeal.
“I just had fists flying at my face,” he said.
Caban has only been driving for Uber since July. He says he installed the camera because of past run-ins with passengers like the man who is shown slapping him around.
“There have been a lot of situations of late that have made me uncomfortable. That’s why I stopped driving [late] at night. But the scary thing is, this happened at the end of my day shift, at 8 o’clock”
He also believes Uber has to do more. Caban says the company offers no training or guidance on how to handle unruly passengers
“They are impossible to get a hold of try to talk to about these situations,” he said, “It’s every driver for themselves.”
A spokesperson for Uber told Fajardo they’re glad Caban is okay and they are still gathering information. They did tell Fajardo they have banned Golden from using Uber for life.
Caban says that’s not enough.
“I don’t feel safe driving for Uber anymore,” he said.
He points out taxis have partitions to protect cabbies and are in radio contact with dispatchers.
Caban ultimately posted the video to show the public that driver for Uber comes with some risk.
“I want people to know its not as easy as it looks,” he said, “I’m not going to take it anymore.”