COSTA MESA, Calif. – Disturbing video shows a California Uber driver being violently attacked by an irate rider.
Edwin Caban picked up the man, identified by police as Benjamin Golden, outside a bar around 8 p.m. near Mexican bar and restaurant Baja Sharkeez in Newport Beach. Instead of entering his destination in the Uber app, Golden said he would give directions as they drove.
Golden can be seen in footage from Caban's security camera appearing to fade in and out of consciousness, flopping from one side of the back seat to the other.
Finally, Caban stopped the car and threatened to call police if Golden didn't get out.
"I'm kicking you out man," Caban says in the video, "You're too drunk to give me directions, man."
"I'm giving you directions to Park Newport," the man replies.
"Next thing I know, I've just got blows coming to the side of my head and I've got my arms up, trying to protect myself," Caban told KTLA.
Golden can be seen unloading a series of blows to Caban's head, and then attempting to slam Caban's skull into the driver-side window.
"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," Caban wrote in the description of the video on YouTube.
Police arrested Golden nearby on charges of suspicion of public intoxication and assaulting a cab driver.
“I don’t feel safe driving for Uber anymore," Caban told NBC Los Angeles. "I think the quality of riders has gone down over the last couple of weeks and I think a lot of drivers would agree with me."
An Uber spokesman said that Golden has been banned for life.