An Uber driver told police he was beaten in Roxbury by a passenger who was unhappy the driver told him to “quiet down,” police say.
When police arrived around 10:40 Thursday morning the driver was bleeding and reported being punched “two or three times” in the face, said Sgt. Detective John Boyle.
“The reported act of violence against the driver is alarming,” Uber said via spokeswoman Navideh Forghani. “We have removed the rider’s access to the platform and stand ready to support law enforcement with its investigation.”
Uber further said they have implemented safety features into their app including an “emergency button” drivers can use to call or text 911 and that automatically sends out real-time location data.
The incident allegedly took place on Harold Park, a section of a residential road loop accessed by Harold Street.
The unidentified driver told police that the passenger was talking loudly on his phone during the Thursday morning ride and that he told him to quiet down, according to police, which the passenger refused to do.
The driver told police that when he dropped off the passenger at Harold Park, the passenger began kicking the car. The driver said he exited the vehicle and was punched, knocked to the ground and then kicked. A Herald photographer saw blood in the street.
The passenger, described as a roughly 5-foot-7 Hispanic man wearing a white and red hooded sweatshirt, fled the area, according to police.
The driver was treated at the scene by medical responders, Boyle said, but declined transportation to a hospital.
A 2019 report issued by Uber analyzing data from 2017 and 2018 found that only 1.4% of trips had support requests “of any kind,” including minor issues like “lost items, refunds, or route feedback;” while only 0.1% of trips had a support request for a safety-related concern, the majority of which the company called “less-severe safety issues” like “harsh braking or a verbal argument.”
The company said that only 0.0003% of trips reported “a critical safety incident,” which they defined in the report as motor vehicle fatalities, fatal physical assaults and sexual assault.