The Uber ride-hailing service has cut ties with a driver accused of threatening to hit one of his passengers with a rock then stealing his cell phone, the company announced Wednesday.
Uber officials said they are cooperating with police as they investigate the allegations against 35-year-old Medhanie Meshesha who was arrested Tuesday in Inglewood and jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.
“All riders and drivers expect to be treated with respect and courtesy by one another, and this expectation extends to personal property as well,” according to Uber. “Upon learning of this incident, we immediately blocked this driver’s access to the Uber platform, and we have offered our assistance to the authorities in their investigation.”
According to police, the alleged victim went to the Los Angeles Police Department Southwest station Saturday afternoon and told officers that Medhanie Meshesha had been his Uber driver on Friday, and after being dropped off, the passenger realized he had left his cell phone in the car. The passenger said he was able to contact Meshesha, and had the driver pick him up to return the phone and take him back home, police said.
After the victim received his phone, he offered Meshesha a tip for returning it, but the driver refused, saying he wanted more money, police said. The passenger declined to give Meshesha more money and got out of the car.
Police said Meshesha followed the victim, grabbed a rock and threatened to throw it at him, again demanding more money. The driver then swiped the phone out of the victim’s hands and fled the area in his vehicle, police said.
Meshesha was arrested Monday at his Inglewood home without incident. He was booked on suspicion of robbery with bail set at $50,000.
— Wire reports