Passenger Holds Gun to Indian American Uber Driver’s Head, Goes on Racist Rant
Uber driver Gurjeet Singh was subjected to a racist rant by a passenger who held a gun to his head near Moline, Illinois.
An Indian American Uber driver was subjected to a racist rant as a passenger held a gun to his head near Moline, Illinois. While a police complaint was lodged and a suspect has been identified, no arrests have been made in the case so far, IndiaWest reported.
Gurjeet Singh, a Sikh who had been driving for Uber for only a month before the attack on Jan. 28, told the publication that he prayed to God as he felt that he was “going to die that night.”
Singh is the head priest of the gurudwara at Silvis, Illinois, and sports a turban and beard. He said that he picked up the attacker and his wife from a bar in Moline. Their house was 8 km away.
The attacker sat on the seat next to him, while his wife sat at the back. He asked Singh questions about his background and then, his immigration status. He asked: “Do you serve our country or do you serve your country?”
Singh told him that as his family lives in India, he serves both. “This pissed him off. He put a gun on my head and said he doesn’t like turbans. I was very nervous. It was late night and there was no one else on the road,” he told IndiaWest.
When Singh pulled over to the side of the road, the suspect’s wife reached across to open the door and pushed her husband out of the car onto the side of the road, according to the Sikh Coalition, the report added. “She insisted to Mr. Singh that he drive her home and leave her husband on the ground to walk home later. Mr. Singh, completely shaken, took the woman to her home. Upon getting out of the car, she did tell Mr. Singh to find a different route back, however Mr. Singh was not familiar with the area and could not figure out how to get back another way,” said the Sikh Coalition in an e-mail to IndiaWest.
As the drivers and passengers can only contact Uber through the app, Singh texted the company once he got home. He received a message from Uber saying the passenger account has been deactivated. “After the police arrest him, maybe I will drive again,” Singh told the publication.
“The safety of driver-partners and riders is a top priority. If any incidents are reported, we do everything we can to support local authorities with their investigation,” Uber spokeswoman Kayla Whaling was quoted as saying in the report. “We will cooperate with law enforcement and provide any information to them that would be helpful. I can also confirm we have spoken to the driver following his report to us.”