Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Passenger Who Attacked Uber Driver Says He Doesn't Have A Drinking Problem

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Benjamin Golden—the fired Taco Bell executive who was caught on video drunkenly attacking an Uber driver—says that even though he doesn't remember what happened that night, he doesn't have a drinking problem.

"It's not me in the video," Golden told CBS Los Angeles in a teary interview. "It's not me." Even though Golden spent last Friday night in jail, he says he has no memory of what happened the night he attacked his Uber driver Edward Caban. He had no idea until he saw that video that was posted to YouTube and has since amassed over 2 million views. "It was hard to watch," said Golden. "I'm ashamed."

Despite the fact that this is Golden's second intoxicated run-in with the law—he was arrested over three years ago for a DUI in Kentucky—he says he doesn't have a drinking problem.

Before stepping into Caban's car last Friday night, Golden was kicked out of a restaurant and was seen acting belligerent. A manager at the Newport Beach restaurant Baja Sharkeez told KCAL that Golden was kicked out of the restaurant on Friday for an unknown reason and saw him berating another manager outside, calling him a "peon" who "probably made $20,000."

Support for LAist comes from

Golden, who was fired from his job at Taco Bell as a marketing executive on Monday, is now being sued by Caban, and faces up to a year in jail. He was charged with assault on a public transportation property, battery on a public transit employee with injury, assault and battery.

Golden says he's "sincerely sorry" for what he did, but Caban rejects his apology. His attorney said in a statement yesterday, "[Caban] is having trouble sleeping, and rests with a weapon next to his bed."

On Wednesday, Golden says, he reached out to a counselor for help.

"I'm ashamed to say I got to that point. I don't normally do that and this is a situation where I did," Golden admits. "I handled it wrong in a wrong way. I crossed the line. It was caught on camera. I have to face it."