Police arrested a 36-year-old man they say viciously assaulted a Lyft driver in Queens because he was driving too slowly, officials said in May. George Catalano, of Queens, surrendered to police and was charged with assault and reckless endangerment for the May 23 attack, which was caught on driver Eduardo Madiedo’s dashboard camera.
Video of the incident can be viewed here: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ny-suspect-caught-lyft-driver-beating-20190530-h5ja7wwplzdxri7l4eojxiay4i-story.html.
Madiedo was taking Catalano and the suspect’s mother to Mount Sinai Hospital in Long Island City, Queens, when the driver’s 2017 Ford Explorer got stuck in midday traffic. Catalano seemed distressed as he rested on his mother’s lap, the video showed. As the 12-minute ride continued, he began complaining about the traffic, then pulled off his jacket and shirt and began moaning.
“Drive faster … please,” he can be heard saying.
Naked from the waist up, Catalano quickly became the back-seat driver from hell, Madiedo recalled.
“He kept telling me to pass cars, but there was nowhere I could go,” said Madiedo, who’s been a driver for three years. “He said, ‘You should be f—–g driving better.’”
Catalano’s curses didn’t sit well with Madiedo, who quickly told him, “If you’re going to be disrespectful I can pull over right now,” the video shows.
Enraged, Catalano lunged over Madiedo’s seat and began wailing on him, hitting him in the head repeatedly, as he cursed. As he was struck more than a dozen times, Madiedo feared the worst was yet to come – that Catalano had a weapon. When Madiedo’s Explorer finally came to a stop, Catalano got out of the backseat and began punching Madiedo through the open driver’s side window, the video shows. He and his mother then stormed off.
Detectives quickly identified Catalano as the passenger, and went by his home in Queens, but he wasn’t there, source said. As a result of the attack, Lyft banned Catalano from its platform.
Despite being hit more than a dozen times, Madiedo was not seriously hurt, officials said.
“I’ve had (some) lumps, but the injuries are psychological,” he said. “It’s been hard sleeping. I didn’t sleep the first couple of nights. I haven’t driven since. I don’t know if I can do this anymore.”
Source: Daily News