An Uber driver really didn't want to deal with a local taxi official, so he bolted, leading the taxi cop on a high-speed chase that went across state lines, all with three passengers onboard.
Ryan Simonetti, a CEO from New York, was in town for meetings and ordered up an Uber for he and his two colleagues.
When the car arrived, Simonetti got in the front seat while the others hopped in the back. A taxi inspector was apparently on the scene, and when he walked away from the car, the Uber driver took off.
According to Simonetti's account in the Washington Post, he asked the driver if that was a cop following him with its lights flashing. That's when the driver said, "I'm sorry, we're going to have to run this red light."
— Ryan W Simonetti (@rwsimonetti) July 8, 2014
During the 10-minute race down I-395, the men pleaded with the driver to slow down or stop. Simonetti finally said to the driver, "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."
The driver took the exit and pulled over, his unwitting passengers got out, and then he drove the wrong way down the exit ramp, back on the freeway, and into Virginia. The inspector stayed with Simonetti and his colleagues.
In Uber's statement, the company says it, "became aware of a potential incident involving an UberBLACK trip in Washington, DC [Tuesday] afternoon. Rider safety is our #1 priority. We will cooperate with authorities in their investigation and have deactivated the driver pending the outcome."
But the most telling bit of the whole ordeal is this: While dodging cars, the driver said to Simonetti that if he was stopped he'd get a $2,000 fine.
Driver vetting is one step, but combine the gray area Uber likes to work in and the threat of a $2,000 fine to a blue collar worker, and this will happen again. Uber, the taxi companies, lobbyists, and politicians need to get their shit together, fast.