Jul 10 2014, 1:40am CDT | by Gene Ryan Briones
An Uber driver took three passengers on a 10-minute wild ride in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. Ryan Simonetti, the CEO of Convene and a self-confessed Uber fan, took an Uber car with two colleagues from 7th and F Streets Northwest, reports the Washington Post.
At 1:15 P.M., an Uber car arrived to pick them up. Simonetti said that a taxi inspector approached the Uber driver to check his documents.
But when the officer checked the vehicle registration plate, the driver suddenly stepped on the gas and headed for the 9th Street tunnel. When the cop followed them, Simonetti asked the driver, “That cop’s following you. What’s going on?”
The driver reportedly replied, “Oh no, he’s not a real cop.” A few seconds later, the driver told them, “I’m sorry, we’re going to have to run this red light.”
Simonetti said that the experience was like an episode of "Cops."
“We’ve all seen the ‘Cops’ episode. This only ends two ways. Either the car crashes or the guy jumps out and runs. And he had plenty of opportunities to slow down and jump out and run, and he wasn’t doing that,” he told the Washington Post.
Simonetti eventually convinced the driver to pull over.
“Here’s two options. You take this exit, or I’m going to knock the side of your head in. If we crash, we crash, but you’re gonna kill us anyway,” Simonetti shouted at the driver.
When they got out of the Uber car, the driver turned around and fled to Virginia.
D.C. Taxicab Commission spokesman, Neville Waters, confirmed the incident on Tuesday, saying that the taxi inspector noticed that the Uber car had a Virginia license plate. The officer wanted to check if the pickup was done through the Uber app. Street hailing is illegal in the district.
Uber has also confirmed the incident, adding that the driver has been “deactivated.”
Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said, “Rider safety is our #1 priority. We will cooperate with authorities in their investigation and have deactivated the driver pending the outcome.”
As for Simonetti, he is now doubting Uber's screening process in hiring its drivers.
Source: Washington Post
Gene Ryan Briones
Gene Ryan Briones (Google+) is a technology journalist with a wide experience in writing about the latest trends in the technology industry, ranging from mobile technology, gadgets and robots, as well as computer hardware and software.
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