Uber vows to help investigation into attack on driver by 20 youths
CARLEEN FROST, The Daily Telegraph
January 29, 2017 4:42pm
RIDE-SHARING service Uber has condemned a sickening attack on one of its drivers in Newcastle overnight and promised to assist the police investigation in any way it can.
Officers have been told the 35-year-old man was called to Dudley Rd, Charlestown in the early hours of this morning where he was met by a group of up to 20 youths.
On arrival one of the teens apparently jumped on the bonnet and roof of his car before he was dragged from his seat and allegedly assaulted by a group of up to five others.
He was reportedly kicked and punched before being able to seek refuge in a nearby house at about 12.30am.
Uber says the safety of drivers and riders is top priority. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Once inside, members of the group damaged another car parked in the driveway with baseball bats while another two people took off with the Uber vehicle.
It was found a short time later at a nearby intersection after having crashed into a roundabout barrier and has since been seized for forensic testing.
Uber spokesman Mike Scott this morning said the organisation would be offering their full support to the driver and the police.
“There is no place for violence in our communities and our thoughts are with the driver-partner during this difficult time,” he said.
“The safety of our driver-partners and riders is always a top priority and we’ll be offering our support to the driver.
“We’ll work closely with the police and assist the investigation in any way we can.”
Uber has become a popular form of transport in Australia with singer and actor Casey Donovan among the many driving for Uber when she is not working in show business. Picture: Dylan Robinson
A wallet and two mobile phones were allegedly stolen from the car while the driver sustained several cuts and abrasions and complained of muscle pain and soreness but did not seek medical treatment.
Police from Lake Macquarie Local Area Command are now searching for two men in relation to the incident.
The first is described as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in appearance, aged 17-18, with a slim build, and about 175cm — 180cm tall.
The second youth is described as being of caucasian appearance, also aged 17-18 but with a solid build and about 175cm — 180cm tall.
The incident follows another serious assault on a 15-year-old boy who was reportedly attacked at Charlestown shopping centre late last month.
An unknown man is believed to have grabbed the boy by the neck before kicking and punching him in the face.
His injuries were so severe he needed two plates to be inserted into his broken jaw.