Thursday, August 18

Drunk Uber Passenger Facing Serious Penalties After Attacking Driver

Limousine driver smiling at cameraPeople say drinking and driving is bad, but it turns out, so is drinking and riding.

A driver for the popular ride-sharing app Uber uploaded a video of a drunken passenger attacking him to YouTube last week, where it quickly went viral. The driver had recorded the video using his GPS.

The passenger in the video was identified by police as Benjamin Golden, a 32-year-old from Newport Beach, CA.

Golden was seen in the video as being too drunk to give proper directions and then refusing to leave the vehicle when the driver, 23-year-old Edward Caban, asked. Golden then repeatedly hit Caban in the face while cursing at him.

Caban defended himself with pepper spray, which finally got Golden to exit the car and, presumably, either walk home or find another ride.

But the troubles for Golden didn’t end there. After the video circulated the internet, he was arrested for the assault and charged with four misdemeanors, which could result in one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Getting an Uber after drinking too much is still a better option than drinking while driving. For the majority of fatal crashes involve drivers with blood alcohol content over the legal 0.08% limit in most areas, and that’s likely close to what Golden’s BAC was.

Upon his recent arrest, reporters discovered that Golden had a prior charge for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol in Louisville, KY, on July 8, 2012. He had been sentenced to 30 days in jail but only served four, and his license was suspended for one month.

As for the more recent incident, Golden claims that he doesn’t even remember the incident taking place. However, his employer, Taco Bell, saw the video and wasn’t impressed.

Golden worked as an executive for the company, which is a subsidiary of Yum Brands. They fired Golden following the incident, telling CNBC in a statement that, “Given the behavior of the individual, it is clear he can no longer work for us.” The company has also encouraged Golden to “seek professional help.”

Caban, meanwhile, is suing Golden for $25,000 on the grounds of “assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress,” according to the suit.

Since the incident, Caban has been “paranoid” over the possibility of running into Golden again.

“I’m paranoid,” he told KABC TV in Los Angeles. “I keep waking up in the middle of the night. I think I hear something. I keep the shotgun next to the bed now, and I’m honestly afraid that he’s going to come after me.”

As for Golden, his lawyers say that he has expressed remorse for what he has done.

Golden is “hugely remorseful and very upset that he conducted himself in the way that he did,” said his lawyer, Courtney Pilchman. “He wants Mr. Caban to know how deeply remorseful he is.”

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