DENVER — An Uber driver kicked a passenger out their vehicle after the woman took off her mask, started coughing and refused to put it back on.
The Uber driver, who asked to remain anonymous, says he picked up the passenger just before 6 a.m. on Tuesday in Denver.
He said she got in the car with a mask on, but she started coughing and took it off once she was inside.
“You know in this day and age, you should probably have a mask, especially since it’s the law and you’re sick,” he can be heard saying in the dash camera video.
The woman in the back seat can be faintly heard saying she’s not sick. Then the driver asks if she has COVID-19, and things escalate when she says, “Yep, sure do,” while the camera is rolling.
“You said you did?” the driver asks. “Is that the truth? Please, it’s my life.”
The woman ignores the driver and says he needs to take her to her destination. The driver loses his temper and kicks out the woman.
“I was angry that someone would be so callous and cavalier with my life,” the driver said. “At the end of the ride, when she got out, she said, you’ve got COVID-19.”
He filed a complaint with Uber and received an email stating that they would reach out to the rider and take appropriate action. But the driver said someone else ordered the ride for the woman.
“In this instance, I don’t know that Uber could have done anything differently,” he said. “She had a mask on when she got in. She was doing everything that she was supposed to.”
Uber policy requires drivers and passengers to wear a mask and adds that drivers can cancel trips if they don’t feel comfortable.
Denver7 reached out to Uber for comment. The company laid out its policy and procedures to keep people safe, which includes denying passengers access to Uber if they repeatedly violate the mask policy.
“Her lack of caring for another person is costing me my livelihood as well as potentially getting sick and possibly worse,” the driver told Denver7.
He says he began driving for Uber more than a year ago and has picked up and dropped off hundreds of passengers. He adds that this is a first.
The 13-minute ride just under eight miles cost $8.28, but the driver says it will cost him much more.
“I am not going to give any more rides until I’ve let an appropriate time pass by and I’ve been tested,” he said.