A local Uber driver was attacked by a passenger.
Chelsea Maskew said her car was in park and her seat belt was still on when her passenger who was seated next to her began to attack. The assault lasted for nearly five minutes, but the physical and emotional damage will linger much longer.
“She grabbed me by the back of my head, pushed me down like this, and started wailing like this on the back of my head,” said Maskew.
Maskew, a mother of three, had been driving for Uber for two years and said on Sunday afternoon while working for the company she was attacked.
“I picked her up in Carnegie, she had three kids [with her] and she said she was picking up her husband from the airport,” said Maskew.
The ride began like any other. The woman and Maskew didn’t engage much on the 14-minute drive until they arrived at the airport and realized they were in the wrong location.
“She said to me, ‘I’m not going to the airport, I am going to the back of it,’” explained Maskew.
Unfortunately, the Uber app had taken them to the departure terminal. Maskew said her passenger then offered a different address to use to get them to the exact location.
“I started to go, then I realized she had put in her Google maps, and it was taking me on a toll road. I won’t get compensated if it’s not put on the Uber app,” said Maskew.
She said she attempted to explain this to her passenger, but that’s when the woman became irate, yelling and cursing in her ear. Finally Maskew had enough and began to pull over to the side of the road.
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“I did brake hard and that made her purse slide off her lap,” admitted Maskew.
But Maskew said she still couldn’t believe what happened next. The woman yelled, “how dare you drive like that” and then began to attack, punch after punch.
“I went like this and she just kept whacking me,” said Maskew.
Once free, Maskew called 911 as the woman and her children headed toward a nearby gas station. The woman was arrested, but Maskew said more protection is needed for drivers.
“Maybe providing dash cameras or something for us,” said Maskew.
Uber responded to an information request with a statement confirming that the rider had been removed from the platform and that the company is investigating.
According to a criminal complaint, the female passenger is identified as 32-year-old Samantha Rather, who is charged with simple assault.