Uber driver describes Bankers Hill attack by passengers

Uber says it's investigating the incident.
Posted at 11:17 PM, May 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-12 15:14:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) --  It was a normal Thursday night for Rob Perelman. His Uber app was on and he was picking up passengers in San Diego. 

Then suddenly, things changed and his passengers got violent. You may have seen the video by now - a car crashing in Banker's Hill after the passengers began violently beating the driver.

RELATED: Uber driver attacked by drunk passengers

Friday, Perelman spoke for the first time about his early-morning attack. He told 10News what happened Friday morning isn't an Uber problem - they were just bad apples. 

"I've done 4,999 rides with good people," Perelman said. "And one with a bad person."

Perelman gave that bad ride sometime after 1:00 a.m. Friday. He picked up the passengers in Banker's Hill and almost immediately realized they were drunk. 

"My gut feeling said to drive away," he said. "But I'm here to give people rides home, and I said you know what, 'we've all been the drunk guy just trying to get home from the bar, let me give these guys a ride home.'"

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He only made it two blocks. 

"The guy in the back seat starts puking out the window...and if he can't make it two blocks, he's definitely not going to make it 10 minutes," Perelman said. 

So he pulled over and asked the two to get out of his car. He told 10News that he even tried opening the door for one of them.

"Still nothing happening, so I say a third time, 'get out of the vehicle or I'm calling 911,'" Perelman said. 

That's when things got dangerous, and the passenger next to him attacked with a fury of punches.

"And he's not stopping, he's just beyond the point now," Perelman said. "Probably doesn't know what he's doing, just starts throwing punches at my head, I can't get him to stop. I've got my glasses on, he knocks my glasses off."

Perelman says he was left with two options. Take the beating or jump out of the car. He took option two, jumping out of the car while it was still in drive and running to a nearby house to call the police.

After the car crashed, the passengers seemed to have a moment of clarity and took off. Perelman says he left behind a shoe, a cell phone and $5,000 dollars in damages to his car.

Even though he had a bad experience, Perelman says he just wants to get back on the road. 

"I'm just happy that I was able to get out safely and I've got a few bruises on my head, but I was able to walk away, so I'm lucky that it didn't escalate," Perelman said. "I don't know if he has a gun or knife, I just said let me get out of the car I don't care about the vehicle right now."

Since Uber knows who the men are, the plan now is to find them and press charges.

10News reached out to Uber about the attack. In a statement they said the following: 

"Violent and dangerous behavior is not tolerated, and the rider no longer has access to the app. We've been in touch with the driver and we're thankful he is ok. 

Still we're providing him assistance and will support the police investigation."

Perelman plans on seeing a doctor and a lawyer first thing Monday morning. He says insurance should cover the damage to his car.