The recent explosion of popular ride share services, due to overall affordability and nifty smartphone apps, is responsible for producing the latest wave of entrepreneurs, who are taking advantage of cutting-edge mobile digital technology. With the influx of commercial drivers and passengers, of course the number of violent encounters has increased proportionally.
The legendary and dangerous jungle of Florida roadways are notorious for the scary and the surreal. An Uber driver, who did not want to become just another statistic, took matters into his own hands and was able to stave off a violent attack in the Sunshine State last Thursday evening. According to WPEC-TV, the Uber employee pulled his vehicle over and informed the 42-year-old man that the ride was effectively terminated. That is where things went downhill runaway semi-truck fast.
The “belligerent” passenger apparently exited and staggered away into the night, only to make a quick 180 degree turn, and rushed back towards the car in an aggressive beeline fueled by violent threats. The driver, whose tolerance was allegedly dried up at this point, pulled out his firearm and attempted to diffuse the situation. The gesture only escalated the situation, as the crook threw a punch and produced another violent verbal threat. At this point, the victim decided to exercise his self-defense rights, shot the aggressor in the leg, and dialed 911. After police responded, the perp was transported to an area hospital, treated for non-life threatening injuries and placed behind bars. He may think twice about engaging in criminal violence the next time he arranges a ride from a stranger. Gratefully, the driver was able to walk away from the incident with his life.
On an interesting note and somewhat disturbing note, the two largest ride share companies, Uber and Lyft, actually include verbiage in their corporate policies, which bans drivers and passengers from carrying firearms within vehicles. Current litigation is examining the validity of the guidelines, and if there is any evidence of conflict with state and federal firearms laws. In cowering to ceaseless bureaucracy, the livery giants have effectively produced “gun free” transportation zones, and passengers should be aware of this reality. Hopefully, the driver is able to maintain his position with Uber, or at least hire a competent legal professional, after legally and bravely exercising his rights to a life of liberty and happiness.
Read the full WPEC-TV article here.