Uber driver wants to "leave Canada as soon as possible" after terrifying passenger attack (VIDEO)

Apr 27 2023, 10:41 pm

A Metro Vancouver Uber driver was left so shaken after a passenger assaulted him on a recent trip that he’s cancelled his plans to bring his family to Canada.

Aman Sood’s camera in the interior of his vehicle captured the terrifying attack, and he’s now unable to work without pain.

“I have headaches and the feeling to vomit all the time,” Sood told Daily Hive Urbanized Thursday after a doctor’s appointment. “My left shoulder is completely numb, and I’m having electric shocks when I move my arm in different directions.”

Sood picked up a rider just after 6:30 am on April 18 and said the man became angry because he wanted to take a different route than Sood had chosen. Sood offered to switch routes, but the man apparently said it was too late and that he didn’t want to talk to a “f***ing Uber driver.”

At that point, Sood stopped the car and asked the man to leave because he didn’t feel safe.

That’s when the passenger screams and punches Sood in the head, as captured on video. Sood reaches his arm back to stop the passenger from hitting him, and both men exit the vehicle as the passenger is heard saying, “I’ll kill you.”

Sood calls 911, and the suspect leaves the area after learning Sood had a camera in the vehicle.

Abbotsford police say they’ve identified the suspect and are in the process of locating and arresting him.

“This is a priority for us here in Abbotsford and we’re doing everything to advance this investigation in a timely fashion,” Sgt. Paul Walker with the Abbotsford Police Department said. “No citizen within our community should ever have to go through an incident like this.”

Sood, originally from India, has been living in Canada since 2019. He had planned for his wife and child, currently living in Bulgaria, to join him next month. But after the attack, he’s told them not to come.

“I just want to leave Canada as soon as possible,” he said. “Better to live than die.”

He hasn’t firmed up any plans to move yet, but says if he’s not better within a few months and able to work again there’s no point staying. Sood is also a yoga teacher, and says the loss of motion in his arm and shoulder will impact him in that career path as well.

Attack sparks calls for better protections for Uber drivers

Sood is unable to work as he was because of the injury — he’s only able to touch the steering wheel with one hand now. He’s calling on Uber to re-think its protections for drivers, saying right now there are none.

“Drivers are not safe at all,” he said. “Drivers are taking criminal record checks, car safety checks, everything is certified from the drivers. But I don’t want to take some passenger who is a violent person. Some standard should be there [for passengers].”

An Uber spokesperson said the company has banned the rider’s account and is working with police on the investigation.

“The behaviour in the video is disturbing and unacceptable,” the company said.

Uber drivers in BC are classed as independent contractors, so Sood doesn’t have access to paid sick days as a regular employee may have. He’s had to apply to WorkSafeBC to be considered for worker’s compensation for the workplace injury.

Sussanne Skidmore, president of the BC Federation of Labour, says independent contractors are currently in a “grey area” of whether they’re eligible for Worker’s Compensation or have rights under the Employment Standards Act. She believes Uber has misclassified its workers, leading them without typical workplace protections.

She wants to see Uber and other app-based companies pay into the system BC already has for worker’s compensation.

“It’s like a second rung of workers in this province who are being oppressed by the system,” she said. “And these are often folks who are newcomers to the country. There are folks who English as an additional language for them, and so there are already some challenges around them knowing what their rights are.”

Instead, Uber says it supports a proposed set of industry-wide standards that would retain driver flexibility while giving them access to accident insurance for incidents that happen while driving for the app.

Sood wants to see action happen before this happens again — before another driver potentially gets killed.

“He is claiming that he will kill me in the video,” Sood said. “And if he killed me, who is going to take responsibility? That is my caution to everyone.”

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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