Uber suspends driver who pulled gun on rider

Posted at 3:33 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 23:38:58-05

An Uber driver was arrested Friday after a report that he pulled a gun on a passenger in Bradenton. 

A Manatee County Sheriff's Office release said Patrick McDonald, 67, faces aggravated assault and battery charges following an altercation with a customer.

According to the report, the victim asked McDonald to pull over during their trip because he felt ill. McDonald obliged.

Once the victim said he was ready to continue the trip, McDonald made a comment about the price of his vehicle and tried to pull the victim out of the backseat. After an argument, McDonald reportedly took a "fighting stance", removed his glasses and got a black handgun from inside the car. The victim and a witness said he "pointed the gun directly at the victim" and "was not afraid to fight him."

Uber riders said they were shocked when they learned about the arrest.

"As a passenger I would never expect that to happen, crazy," Shawn Culhane said. 

ABC Action News spoke to Culhane while he was out enjoying drinks in downtown Bradenton. He got there by taking an Uber.

"I'll Uber just to play it safe," Culhane said. 

Culhane didn't mind that the driver was armed.

"I think it is our right to have guns, especially in the car. You never know what is going to happen. I don't blame him at all for having the gun. When he pointed it at the guy... that was uncalled for," Culhane said. 

McDonald was arrested without incident.

An Uber spokesperson sent ABC Action News this statement:

This driver's account has been deactivated as we continue to gather the facts regarding this incident.  We stand ready to provide law enforcement with any information that would be helpful to their investigation into this matter.  The driver has been on the platform since mid January of this year.