Passenger Attacked by Hammer-Wielding Uber Driver Could Lose Eye

Passenger Attacked by Hammer-Wielding Uber Driver Could Lose Eye

A San Francisco man who was attacked by an UberX driver with a claw hammer, leaving him unconscious and bleeding on the side of the road, could lose vision in his left eye.

Roberto Chicas, 35, was on his way home from a late-night bartending shift at the Cavalier Restaurant located South of Market Street and grabbed drinks at a nearby bar with friends, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

He and two of his friends entered an UberX vehicle driven by Patrick Karajah, 26. Karajah reportedly took the freeway instead of city streets, which prompted the passengers to ask him why he decided to take a longer route. The questions agitated Karajah, the Chronicle notes. 

Chicas’ attorney Harry Stern said that Karajah stopped the UberX twice in an attempt to force the three passengers out of the vehicle. Karajah then pulled over in front of a public housing complex at Ellsworth Street and Alemany Boulevard, told the three friends to get out of his car, and “for reasons that are unknown at this point, he then snapped and smashed Roberto on the side of the head with a claw hammer,” Stern said.

A day after the incident, which took place on September 23, Uber released the following statement:

Safety is Uber’s #1 priority. We take reports like this seriously and are treating the matter with the utmost urgency and care. It is also our policy to immediately suspend a driver’s account following any serious allegations, which we have done. We stand ready to assist authorities in any investigation.

Chicas, who has several facial reconstructive surgeries and a long recovery period ahead of him, is unsure if he will ever be able to see out of his left eye again, the Chronicle notes.

Karajah’s attorney reportedly did not return calls seeking comment on the incident. 

Although he does not have a criminal record, until this alleged incident, Stern said it was “outrageous” that Uber would hire someone who would behave so erratically.”In this instance, it seems like this was somebody with a hair trigger who fell through the cracks, someone who is unfit to be dealing with the public,” Stern said.

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