DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver woman who claims she was assaulted by her Uber driver last month said she is frustrated after getting kicked off the app.
This comes as a new safety feature on the ride-share app that could help riders in situations like this one in the future.
Rider sensed Uber driver’s agitation
The rider, who wished to remain anonymous because she is still scared after the incident, said it all started when she called for an Uber after a show at Mission Ballroom on Feb. 26.
“I feared for, and my whole life flashed before my eyes in that moment,” she said. “I’ve had nightmares.”
She had just gotten tacos from a food truck when she hopped in the Uber.
“When I met him, I could tell that he was agitated just with the traffic and he was in a hurry. Once I got into the Uber he started to cuss at other drivers, limo drivers, transportation companies,” she said.
She said she tried to ignore his agitation and took a bite of her tacos. She said she didn’t know eating food wasn’t allowed in an Uber and that the driver told her to put the food away.
That’s when she said things started to escalate.
Uber driver tries to get rider out of car
She said he slammed on the brakes and told her to get out of the car at the intersection of 38th Avenue and Brighton Boulevard.
“I said, ‘no, I’m not getting out of the car. If you pull over, I’ll get out,'” she said. “He then slammed on the gas going as fast as he could to where I went from one side of the backseat to the other, kind of like a vertical whiplash, hitting my head on both sides.”
She says she suffered a concussion, and whiplash and ended up with bruises from where she said he physically tried to get her out of the car.
She said at one point he even told her he had a gun.
“He pulled into Natural Grocers, he came into the backseat trying to push me out of the Uber, and, at that point, I was kind of all over the place in the backseat, so it took me a second to get out,” she said. “Once I got out, he came around to the other side and started to charge me and I ran into oncoming traffic begging anyone to stop to help me.”
Uber’s response to the incident
Uber told FOX31 both the driver and passenger violated the app’s community guidelines.
The rider, because she did “fight” back by throwing some of her food at the driver as he started to get aggressive. Uber said when there are conflicting allegations, they always suspend both parties during an investigation.
The rider said she wished she could have done things differently.
“Absolutely [I wish I could have done things differently] — in those moments — I wouldn’t have done those things, but I was doing anything I could to protect myself,” she said.
A spokesperson with Uber sent FOX31 a statement.
“What’s been described is deeply concerning,” the spokesperson said. “When the incident was reported to us, we conducted an investigation and took appropriate action, which includes deactivating the driver. We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.”
Uber also has a new safety feature within the app “record my ride.” This lets you record audio of the ride at any point during the trip.
No charges have been filed and police are still investigating. Uber also said they have not received any requests from law enforcement related to the investigation.