From The New York Post:
An irate Uber driver dragged a woman down the block with her body half out of his car — and the company then blocked an NYPD investigation into him, a new lawsuit says.
Driver Abul Hassan allegedly attacked passenger Abbey Thomas of California after she sought a ride around 2 a.m. July 28 — just three blocks away — because it was raining.
Hassan attempted to forcibly extract the 35-year-old mom from the vehicle after she refused to get out and then nabbed her phone as she began to record his petulant tantrum, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit.
“How angry he got, how fast the whole thing happened, it really escalated quickly after I said no,” Thomas told The Post on Thursday. “It was like he wouldn’t stand for a woman telling him what to do or where to go.”
The pretty blonde screamed for help, drawing bystanders, as Hassan attempted to wrench her by her arms from the vehicle, but then the cabbie got spooked when he saw the crowd and ran back to the driver’s seat.
“I was more afraid of what would happen when he got me on the ground,” she said, her voice shaking. “That thought terrified me so much I wouldn’t let go.”
Before Thomas knew it, he was driving, and she was clinging for dear life, with half her body hanging out the door and her foot perilously close to the back wheel well as Hassan accelerated to around 35 mph, she said.
Thomas attempted to jump from the car after Hassan stopped at a red light, but he peeled away again — her phone in his hand — as her body slammed into the pavement and she rolled to a stop.
“Thank goodness there was a red light, and he slowed down enough that I could let go,” she recalled. “He didn’t come to a full stop, and he just left me in the middle of the road.”
She was taken to Bellevue and treated for cuts and bruises, according to the complaint. A nurse told her she was “lucky to be alive.”
The suit alleges that Uber later refused to cooperate with the NYPD and provide them with any information about Hassan or his whereabouts — even allowing him to keep transporting passengers until he voluntarily turned himself in to cops Sept. 7.
“[Uber’s] note to me was absolutely horrid,” she said, disdain in her voice.”They told me they were so sorry that this had happened, but not to worry because ‘he won’t be paired up with you again.’ I was like, ‘Wait — what about all the other women?’”
She wrote back, but never heard from anyone at the company again.
Despite the injuries Thomas sustained, Hassan was only given a desk-appearance ticket, her lawyer Bradley Gerstman fumed, adding his client never got her phone back.
Thomas is suing both Uber and Hassan for an unspecified amount, citing assault and battery and negligent hiring.
“The big thing for me was I was such a loyal Uber rider and supporter of theirs — many a ride were had by friends and family because of me,” she said. “But their response was ridiculous. Their service is based on instant gratification, but they could barely cooperate with the NYPD in pursuing this criminal.”
A spokeswoman for the car service said Hassan has been removed from the app pending a police investigation of the incident.
She would not comment further on the pending litigation.
“We require a subpoena issued in connection with a criminal investigation to compel the disclosure of basic information,” she added in response to the allegations Uber thwarted police investigations. “We worked with law enforcement in this case to support their investigation.”
Hassan could not be reached for comment.
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