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Dashcam Video: Uber Driver Maces Passenger Who Attacks Him
An Uber driver was caught on video defending himself with mace after his drunk passenger began beating him.
Uber driver Edward Caban was giving a ride to passenger Benjamin Golden, 32, on Friday night in Newport Beach, NBC Los Angeles reports. Caban said that when he arrived to pick Golden up near Baja Sharkeez on Balboa Peninsula, Golden was very drunk. Caban said that Golden wouldn't put his destination address in the app, nor did he seem to know the way. In the video, when Caban asks if he should turn on a particular street, Golden seems confused and tells him, "Better turn your ass around." Caban also said that Golden wouldn't put on his seat belt, and Golden can be heard hiccuping in the video. Caban turns the dashcam to face the backseat and at one point, you can see Golden fall over when Caban makes a simple turn.
Caban drove to a shopping center, well-lit and seemingly safe, and told Golden that because he was too drunk to provide directions, he had ended the trip and Golden needed to get out of the car. Golden refused, and asked Caban to go to "Park Newport," presumably the apartment complex of the same name. Caban insisted that he had already ended the trip and would call the police if Golden didn't leave.
Golden responded by smacking Caban several times in the head and face and grabbing his hair, all while cursing at him. Caban was prepared, however, and maced Golden in the face.
Officers from the Costa Mesa Police Department arrested Golden, and said that he was still throwing up from being maced when they arrived. He was booked on charges of assault and public intoxication.
Caban said even though Uber offered to pay for the mace to be cleaned from his car, he's done working for them.
"I don't feel safe driving for Uber anymore. The quality of passengers has gone down over the last couple weeks and I know a lot of drivers will agree with me," he said.
Update: The original video has been taken down from YouTube, and we've since replaced it with a longer version.