You may want to think twice next time you whip out your phone to order an Uber car. Uber is now in a public relations nightmare amidst alleged kidnapping, a high-speed car chase crossing state lines, and a fight to gain control of the car by an innocent guy who just needed a lift. According to the Washington Post, Ryan Simonetti was visiting Washington, D.C. when he and two colleagues were caught in the middle of a chase between the Uber driver and a DC taxi inspector.
Here’s what happened: Simonetti, CEO of New York based company Convene, regularly uses Uber. So when he and his colleagues finished up a meeting in D.C. they ordered an Uber car to take them from 7th and F street Northwest to Convene’s new offices at Tysons Corner. As Simonetti and friends got into the car, a DC taxi inspector who was talking to the Uber driver started walking away.
Before they knew what was going on, the Uber driver sped off and the inspector got into his car and started chasing after them. Simonetti tells the Washington Post that he asked the driver if a cop was following him, to which the driver replied, “He’s not a real cop. I’m sorry we’re going to have to run this red light.” And he did, fearing that if he stopped he'd get popped with a $2,000 fine.
I physically tried to force his leg to hit the brake. I ripped off his pant leg … I said, ‘Here’s two options. You take this exit, or I’m going to knock the side of your head in. If we crash, we crash, but you’re gonna kill us anyway.’
According to Simonetti the chase lasted around 10 minutes until the driver eventually let the passengers out of the car...but not before they fought for control of the wheel. The driver let them out and sped off again going the wrong way up an exit ramp where he was eventually cornered by the inspector.
Maybe just hail a cab next time?