Uber, the popular ride-sharing app that has caused a controversial revolution in the ways we travel locally, has had its well-documented share of ups and downs over the past year-and-a-half. And, while the dismal employment and managerial practices of the company have been under close scrutiny, the fact is that people still work for Uber, people still hire Uber, and Uber drivers continue to be subject to some less-than delightful interactions.
This past Sunday, a driver based out of Springfield found themselves in a tricky situation. According to the official report on the incident filed by the Fairfax County Police Department, the driver had transported a customer early in the morning. Upon reaching the specified destination, the Uber driver stopped the car and the customer exited the vehicle. All would have been fine except that the customer was reportedly enraged about the cost of the ride.
It is not clear whether or not the passenger understood the arrangement before entering the vehicle (something that is unlikely given the pay-in-advance model that Uber follows, meaning that no money actually changes hands between the driver and the customer and the entirety of the fare is known before the customer enters the vehicle), but apparently a disagreement emerged regarding the price of the ride.
When the passenger exited the Uber car, they entered their own car and, according to the report, began to pursue the Uber driver, who immediately called the police. By the time officers with the Fairfax County Police showed up to the scene, the angry Uber customer had intentionally collided with the Uber car somewhere along the 6500 block of Edsall road.
The Uber customer noticed the police arriving and immediately pulled away and attempted to escape. A police chase ensued, and at a certain point the fleeing individual felt that they would make it further on foot so they stopped their car, exited, and ran into the woods.
It took a helicopter with Fairfax 1 as well as multiple K9 units to finally discover the person who was by this time hiding inside of a drainage pipe.
The report did not indicate if the Uber driver suffered injuries in the crash, but we do know that the disgruntled customer will be charged with a DUI, hit-and-run, driving on a revoked license, and driving at excessive speeds with the intention of escaping police officers as well as the price for the initial Uber ride.