Video Of Uber Driver Pepper Spraying Drunk Passenger

Filed Under: Uber, Videos

I could never be an Uber driver. Not just because I’m absolutely terrible with directions, but more importantly because I couldn’t handle drunk passengers. I’ve heard so many horror stories of Uber drivers having to deal with drunk and belligerent passengers, though I’ve never seen anything as bad as this scenario.

Video emerged over the weekend of an Uber driver in Newport Beach pepper spraying a passenger after he got attacked.

Here’s the story he uploaded with the video (part of the video and description is perhaps NSFW):

It all started when i got a ping while in Newport Beach to pick up a passenger near baja sharkies on the peninsula in Newport, the passenger was incredibly intoxicated and when i pulled up, he came up to the window and asked if I was an uber driver, he appeared to be on the phone with another driver, asking him about what car he was driving. I said yes, and he immediately got in. I confirmed destination, my gps said the black night at the triangle in Costa Mesa, I asked if this was correct, he said yeah, im close to there ill tell you where to go, I asked again if he could just give me his address because I have been down this road before. He refused and insisted on telling me where to trun. We start driving, he begins fading in and out of consciousness while become belligerent and aggressive, and refusing to put his seat belt on, swearing at me, telling me to “fucking turn this piece of shit around” I didn’t feel comfortable when I picked him up and I no longer wanted him in the car at this point. I grabbed the pepper spray from my center console and put it under my right thigh and flipped my camera around and, as i always do when my spidey senses start tingling, made a u-turn, then pulled into a nearby well lit shopping center, and asked him to get out of the car. He insisted on continuing, even though I had already ended the ride. We went back and fourth a bit before I told him if he didnt get out i would call the police. At which point he opened his door and began beating me over the head. I fumbled with the safety on the pepper spray while trying to protect my face with my other arm, I broke free from him grabbing me by the hair on the back of my head, and sprayed his face until he got out of the car, at which point i left the vehicle. Uber drivers don’t get paid enough to deal with this shit.

And here’s the video (the action starts happening about 2:25 into the video, if you’re short on time):

Apparently the passenger was charged with assault on a cab driver and public intoxication (both of which are misdemeanors), and the Uber driver is looking for a new job, as he no longer feels safe driving.


  1. Man, poor Uber driver….He should defly sue the passenger ….it will make up for the loss for sure.

  2. I wonder what percentage of Uber business is during daytime versus nighttime? If I were going to be an Uber driver, provided I could work a schedule to my convenience, I would do so during the day. Making airport runs, hotel runs, business traffic, etc. I am sure there are drunks at all hours but not sure I would want to pick up random fares in a major urban area after 8pm.

  3. Every time I read someone commenting about how you should name your posts something different I always roll my eyes; however (lol), this one is a little off, I think. “Video of Uber passenger assaulting driver,” would be more accurate.

  4. I always assumed Uber drives were better off than traditional taxi drivers. Since uber has your credit card information youre not just an anonymous fare and therefore need to be on your best behavior.

    Uber takes their drivers safety seriously. Earlier this year I gave a coworker a ride in the uber i had ‘hailed.’ He was drunk, beligerant and inappropriate (though physically harmless, not that the driver knew that at the time of course). I apologized and accepted responsibility. Uber called me the next morning because they got a report about me from the driver. I was warned that any subsequent reports would result in being banned from uber and potential criminal and civil (breach of contract?) charges.

  5. Driver was well within his rights to ask him to leave. Passenger was a complete dick and glad he got what he deserved. It was totally unacceptable to hit the driver and assault him.

    This used to be a big issue with taxi’s back in the day and I guess this is why the big hard plastic divide is now in place in most taxi’s.
    I wonder if these sort of things come up more and more, will they have to change the way uber cabs are done.

  6. Yeah, alcohol sure makes the world a better place.

    I would have stopped the car, got out with the keys, triggered the panic alarm and steered clear of the drunk. Trying to have a conversation with a drunk is almost as stupid as drunk behaviour.

  7. @Craig I think some part-time Uber drivers choose to work at night as they are more likely to hit surge prices and therefore make more per hour. But it does mean they have to deal with this kind of stuff.

  8. So good he carried a pepper spray, that shit is effective I can tell ya!
    The best non-lethal defense measure out there!

  9. @YYZgayguy

    Yes, it most definitely does – hence it’s popularity.

    And while you call them stupid, I’m not quite sure how your plan of action is any better. So you set off the panic alarm – now what? You annoy any residents near you, none-of-whom are likely to come to your help (who ever listens to car alarms?) and you still have the drunk in the car. You say you’ll “steer clear” of the drunk but he’s in your car – so you just walk off and leave your car with a drunk stranger inside it!?

  10. I would say the uber driver handled that really badly, yes the guy shouldn’t have hit him but if he hadn’t been so rude and done his job of getting the guy home (it’s not as if the meter wasn’t running) it wouldn’t have happened. The headlines would be different if this guy had just got out and ended up collapsed and found choked to death on his own vomit the next morning because he was chucked out a cab for falling asleep.

  11. @Callum: I won’t help you pretend my suggestion was that dumb. Yes, I would move far enough away from my car that the drunk is not a threat. Yes, I would make a LOT of noise, “disturbing the residents near” me (I’d use the phrase “sounding an alarm to summon help”; to each his own) and then, the step I didn’t explicitly mention, I would use my phone to call police.

    In a civilized place, the police deal with criminal behaviour and public safety, not citizens with weapons. Full disclosure, though: I’m “prejudiced” because I don’t live in the United States of America. In my country the murder rate is lower than one one-hundredth that of USA (yes, I do mean per capita) and pepper spray is illegal, even for an Uber driver. Coincidence?

  12. @YYZ I’m not remotely pretending – I think your suggestion WAS “dumb” (your words) and you calling other people stupid made me feel justified in calling it out. Your clarification is even worse! I’m sure people and police will be rushing to your aid after being woken up and disturbed by you screaming and shouting about a non-violent (remember you’re not omnipotent…) drunk sitting in your car after you decide to kick them out in a possibly unknown area in the middle of the night…

    No idea where your bizarre weapons rant comes from either given I made absolutely no mention of it whatsoever (nor am I American, nor do I consider the US civilised). You don’t appear to be “prejudiced” by your country of residence (which I’ve always assumed was canada, which doesn’t have such a small murder rate – though I’m struggling to find any major country that has less than 1% of US murders), you seem more prejudiced against alcohol.

  13. @Callum

    I may have misunderstood you, or you misunderstood me. If the former, sincere apology.

    My prescription (exit vehicle, call cops, sound alarm, avoid assailant) was based upon the drunk guy assaulting the driver, as we saw in the video. But in your criticism of me, you refer no a nonviolent passenger being “dumped” in an undersirable place, so I think maybe we’re having two different conversations.

    If I were driving a passenger who had not committed an assault nor threatened to do so, I’m not sure what I’d do. If I felt unsafe, I guess I’d feel obliged to deliver him to a well-lit, safe place where he could safely get another cab. We might still disagree, possibly for the reason you cite: I am strongly “prejudiced” against people who consume “too much” (purely subjective, so let’s not bother with that argument) alcohol.

    I’d rather steer entirely clear of drunks, and I don’t think very highly of them. I’ve never met anyone, in 50+ years, whose company I prefer “under the influence” rather than sober. You “outed” my prejudice earlier, but I feel better declaring openly, anyway.


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