Taco Bell Executive Who Was Filmed Hitting Uber Driver Gets Fired
A Taco Bell executive who was filmed hitting an Uber driver has been fired from his job.
Benjamin Golden, 32, faces charges of public drunkenness and assault for Friday's alleged attack, which was caught on a camera placed inside the car.
After the video emerged, Taco Bell said in a statement: "Given the behavior of the individual, it is clear he can no longer work for us. We have also offered and encouraged him to seek professional help."
He previously worked as Taco's Bells Mobile Experience & Innovation Lead, according to his online bio. It adds that he is "a southerner who enjoys mint juleps and horse racing." Both his LinkedIn and Twitter pages have been removed.
Driver Edward Caban had shared the video to YouTube showing the incident inside his car in Newport Beach, California.
On the video, Caban wrote that the passenger was "incredibly intoxicated" when he picked him up. The man told him to drive to Costa Mesa but apparently didn't know exactly where he was going, Caban said.
As Caban drove him, the man appeared to slip in and out of consciousness. In the footage, he can be seen falling over in the back seat as Caban takes a turn.
Caban eventually tells the man that the ride is over.
"You're too drunk to give me directions man, I'm kicking you out," he tells him.
"Are you serious?" the man asks before refusing to leave.
Caban says he will call the police if the man does not get out. The man opens the door as if to leave and then, as he shouts expletives, the man begins slapping Caban's face from the seat behind, the footage shows.
"You f***ing b****!" he tells the driver as he hits him.
"I just had fists flying at my face," Caban said as he recounted the ordeal to CBS2.
Caban then pulls out a can of Mace and sprays it in the man's face as he stumbles from the car.
Minutes after the attack, Costa Mesa police responded to find the passenger, 32-year-old Benjamin Golden, still vomiting from the Mace, NBC LA reported.
Golden was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor public intoxication and misdemeanor assault, police said.
He was released from custody with a written promise to appear in court, authorities said. Golden has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Caban, who has been working for Uber since July, said the company offered to reimburse him for cleaning the pepper spray from his car, but he says the incident has put him off the job.
Uber has banned the rider from using its service.