Woman Says Uber Driver Called Her A 'F*cking B*tch' And Threw Her Onto The Street
A sticker with the Uber logo is displayed in the window of a car on June 12, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)
A woman says she was cursed out and then thrown onto the pavement by an Uber driver—and the company was slow to respond and won't even offer up her driver's full name for a police report.
Jena, who didn't want to give her last name because she fears for her safety, told LAist she called for a driver just after 2:50 a.m. on Wednesday morning. She got picked up on the 1600 block of North Alvarado Street in Echo Park, near the intersection of Glendale Boulevard. Her driver, who the app identified as "Tim," attempted to turn the wrong way on a one-way street, which Jena called the driver on. In response, Tim called Jena a "fucking bitch." Jena responded, "I'm not paying you to like me, I'm paying you to take me home."
Jena says Tim then ordered her to "Get the fuck out of my car," and proceeded to step out of the driver's seat and open the back door. Although Jena retreated to the other side of the backseat, she tells LAist, "He ran to the left side, opened the door, grabbed me very forcefully by the left arm and shoulder and proceeded to throw me down on the asphalt."
Jena says the driver took off with her cell phone in his car, which she tracked but she says it looks like he chucked it out the window at some point. She went back to her friend's house where she had been before and called the police. It took officers over an hour to respond and in the meantime Jena had walked back to her own home. She later emailed a complaint to Uber and went to LAPD's Rampart station to file a police report later that afternoon.
Although she lodged a complaint through Uber's official channels, Jena says she never got a response back until she began publicly tweeting about the incident. In subsequent correspondence with the company, the representative wrote that the incident was "troubling" and that they took the issue "very seriously and will be taking the appropriate actions." Jena adds that the company won't give her the driver's name in order to pass along to the detective handling her case. LAist obtained a copy of the police report and it was submitted without the driver's name. Instead, Uber would be "evaluating" the case and said the driver would be "deactivated" if he was found to be at fault. All they could do for Jena was refund the $4 cancellation fee.
Uber refunded Jena the $4 cancellation fee after she claims the driver, Tim, threw her onto the pavement. (Courtesy of Jena)
"What that driver did to me is battery, and a $4 [refund] and the possibility of him being fired from Uber just to get another driver job is completely unacceptable," says Jena. "This is the very reason that people have worse things happen to them, because no one listens or properly reprimands physically aggressive people until it's too late."
"I like Uber, I like having that option," she tells LAist, especially since she's unable to use her own car at the moment. But because of this experience, she's been wary of using the service in the meantime.
LAist sent Uber a request for comment on this incident, and is awaiting a response.
UPDATE 6:10 p.m.: A spokesperson for Uber, Taylor Patterson, sent LAist this statement: "We take allegations of this nature very seriously. Upon learning about this incident, we immediately reached out to the rider, refunded their trip, and deactivated the driver's access to the platform."
Patterson also notes that Uber has contacted Jena directly and told her that the driver has been deactivated from the service and that Uber responded to her within hours, especially given the early time at which she contacted the company.
Uber says they cannot release the driver's full name as a matter of privacy and that they "stand ready to offer any assistance to law enforcement."
The image of the refund receipt has been edited to remove the photo of the driver.