SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — An drunk Uber passenger’s wild ride this past weekend was caught on a dashboard camera, and now the driver is calling for him to be held accountable for nearly killing them, according to CBS 13 in Sacramento.
“This can’t go unpunished. I mean, this is ridiculous. He literally could have ended my life,” driver Dax Castro said of the drunk passenger.
This is not the first time Castro has had to deal with a rowdy rider. Last year a passenger pulled a gun on him and threatened to kill him.
After the man tried to take the wheel and crash his car last Saturday night, Castro said he may walk about from his gig with Uber for good.
Nearly halfway into his 30-minute ride, the passenger tried to take control of the car.
Castro, who goes by Uber Albert on social media, says his male passenger sitting in the front seat was drunk and yelling nonsense after he was picked up from a bar in Citrus Heights.
He posted dashcam video of the ordeal on Facebook, blurring the face of his passenger.
“You gotta let go of my hand, bro…I don’t think so,” said Castro.
The man then lunged forward and grabbed the steering wheel, and a struggle between the two men ensued. Castro grabbed the man’s arm, trying to hold him back.
Passenger: “We’re gonna go.”
Castro: “You gotta let go, man.”
Passenger: “No. We gonna go crazy.”
After struggling some more, the passenger said, “Love you, brother. Love you, brother.”
Castro then says the man whispered, “We’re gonna die.”
Castro: “We’re not gonna die man, but you gotta let go.”
Castro says he was using all of his strength to hold back the passenger, who CHP identified as 32-year-old Tswj Vang.
He said he veered across three lanes of traffic on southbound Highway 99 near Highway 50 before he pulled over on the freeway to call 911.
Castro said that, for a moment, he thought he might never see his wife and kids again.
CHP confirmed that they received a call from Castro around 9:40 p.m. Saturday night reporting his passenger was trying to steer his vehicle out of control. Officers responded to Highway 99 and did a traffic break to allow officers and Castro to move into a safer location at 12th and Franklin.
CHP officers arrested Vang at a nearby donut shop after he was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.19.
Castro says he was lucky he was bigger than the passenger.
“Just when you think you’ve seen everything as an Uber driver something else happens that just blows your mind. I’m so happy to be alive. I could have died literally died on the freeway when this a****** grab my steering wheel,” he said in a statement.
In a statement, Uber said, “The behavior in the video is dangerous and unacceptable. The rider can no longer access the Uber app.”
The experience has been so traumatic that Castro says he still cannot bring himself to get behind the wheel. He’s opted to ride his moped instead.
“You think you’ve got a lot of years left, and well, one little thing and you don’t. So… it’s difficult,” he said. “I’m making $1,600/month doing it on the weekends on the side. But you know, what’s that really worth when it comes to your life?”
Vang will be arraigned in a Sacramento County Court on Feb. 19 on misdemeanor DUI charges.
Castro said he would encourage other Uber drivers to invest in a dashcam. He said the camera can provide the evidence you need should you ever have to take legal action.