Video Shows Uber Driver Fighting Back After Passenger Attacks Him Mid-Trip

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
July 26, 2019US News
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Video Shows Uber Driver Fighting Back After Passenger Attacks Him Mid-Trip
The Uber logo is seen on a car in Washington, on July 9, 2019. (Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images)

Video footage from a dashcam showed an Uber driver in Florida fighting back after a passenger attacked him.

Joe Leone, the driver, said he picked up the passenger, later identified as 29-year-old Taylor Richards, from St. Petersburg beach and was slated to take him to South Tampa.

As the ride neared the end, Leone said that Richards took off his seat belt and became upset when the driver requested he buckle back in.

Video footage shows Richards reaching to touch Leone’s shoulder before attacking the driver.

The passenger had easy access because he was riding in the front seat, something Leone said he was grateful for.

“If he was in the back seat, maybe it wouldn’t have gotten as far as it did, but if it had, how much control would I have had with him behind me,” Leone told WFTS.

Leone pulled over and hit Richards, trying to push him out of the car. “Get out of my car!” he said repeatedly before the passenger finally exited.

Leone called 911 and Richards was arrested on a charge of battery, a Tampa Police Department spokesperson told WFTS. Police wrote in an arrest report that Richards appeared intoxicated.

“We are upset about this driver’s experience and have been in touch with him to offer our support. Violence is not tolerated on the Uber app, and we immediately removed the rider’s access when this was reported to us,” an Uber spokesperson told the broadcaster.

Attack in Vegas

An Uber driver in Nevada was attacked by two men he picked up earlier this year.

The driver, who was not named, told Fox 5 that he picked up two young men at an apartment near the Las Vegas convention center last week and noticed something was wrong.

“Because of the situation being so shady he asked them to leave the car,” the Uber driver’s son said.

The driver realized the two passengers were underage and requested only one rider through UberPool. He then canceled their request and asked them to leave the vehicle.

“When he asked them to leave they started throwing punches at him,” the driver’s son told Fox5. The son didn’t want his name published in the media.

The entire attack left the family “shaken up,” the son said.

“It’s definitely brutal,” he added. “It’s hard to watch because it just makes you wonder how safe the drivers are when they’re driving.”

The driver suffered a broken cheekbone, his son said.

“He was shaken up, he was shaking,” the son said. “He was basically panicking. He didn’t know what was happening. They did a CAT scan of his brain and his face. They said that he has a broken cheekbone right under his eye.”

Two juveniles were taken into custody following the incident, the Las Vegas Metro Police said.

The entire incident was captured on the man’s dashboard camera.

The son said his father is driving again, but he’s still scared.

“I don’t think that it’s ever going to be like before for him,” he said. “The camera doesn’t really help with people being safe. It just points out who the victim is and who the attackers are.”

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

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