Calgary

Calgary Uber driver allegedly shouted threats, threw customers' groceries out of vehicle

Uber Canada has removed a Calgary driver from its app after he was accused with threatening a customer, using a homophobic slur and throwing groceries out of the vehicle.

Uber Canada says it has removed the driver from the app

Uber Canada says it has removed a Calgary driver from the app after an accusation he threatened a customer. (Jeff Chiu/The Associated Press)

Uber Canada has removed a Calgary driver from its app after he was accused with threatening a customer, using a homophobic slur and throwing groceries out of the vehicle.

Raymond Johnson-Brown said he went out to help his mother and grandfather unload groceries from their Uber on Saturday because the driver had refused.

His mother has a fractured wrist and his 81-year-old grandfather, a veteran, uses a walker.

"It's not, of course, required … but I thought he would help them out in this situation," Johnson-Brown said.

When he started unloading the groceries, he asked the driver what the normal practice was when it came to helping customers in similar situations, he said.

My mom personally is a little worried that, you know, this man who was very intimidating, very angry, knows exactly where we live.-Raymond Johnson-Brown 

"He opened up the back, and I just asked, 'hey, is it common for Uber drivers not to assist people who are in need when they take transportation?'" 

Johnson-Brown said the driver immediately went on the attack.

"'Just hurry up and get your stuff out of my car,'" he said the driver told him, saying the driver later added, "'if you don't hurry up, I'm going to beat the sh-t out of you.'"

"I didn't know what caused him to be so reactive and angry."

He said the driver threw the groceries out of the car before using a homophobic slur and driving away.

Shortly after, Johnson-Brown said the family was notified the driver had filed a complaint that they had made the driver feel uncomfortable. So, they replied to Uber to share their side of the story — and filed a police report.

Raymond Johnson-Brown, right, says he questioned a Calgary Uber driver who had refused to help his 81-year-old grandfather, left, unload groceries, and was threatened with violence in return. (Submitted)

"My mom personally is a little worried that, you know, this man who was very intimidating, very angry, knows exactly where we live."

Uber told CBC News that the safety of riders and drivers is the company's top priority, and it will do anything it can to support local authorities with investigations if incidents are reported.

"Discrimination has no place in the Uber community, and we have been in contact with this individual to offer our support. As soon as we were made aware of this incident we removed the driver's access to the app," the company said in an emailed statement.

Calgary police confirmed they are investigating.

With files from Lucie Edwardson

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