An Uber driver in North Carolina USA was attacked and threatened by a passenger he had picked up, who mistook him for a Muslim.
“He told me he was going to shoot me right in the face or strangle me. He used a lot of bad words… really dirty words, and said I was a Muslim,” the victim, Samson Woldemichael told The Huffington Post.
Woldemichael, who is a Christian, recounted the horrific experience saying the picked up his attacker, a white man in his 30s, around 2:00am outside an Irish pub in Charlotte. Once they stopped outside the passenger’s home, he began to threaten the driver and would not stop even after Woldemichael told him that he was not a Muslim.
“He was telling me he was going to kill me right there, next to his residence.”
The 40-year-old Uber driver who is an Ethiopian immigrant asked the driver to get out of the car. The passenger refused to comply and instead asked Woldemichael to get out right there.
“I started driving because I didn’t feel safe anymore to park there,” he told WBTV this week.
Halfway around the block, the passenger launched a violent attack and ‘hit me so hard on the forehead with his bare hand.’
“He then choked me with one arm and started hitting me with the other one. I couldn’t move. The only thing I could do was step on the brake, and then I was honking on the horn continuously,” Woldemichael added.
The assailant then got out of the car, ran a short distance away, turned around and went into rant, this time with one hand behind his back as though he was armed.
Woldemichael, who suffered two bruises to his head, drove away and called the police. However, by the time the police reached the scene, the attacker had disappeared.
Speaking to the Huffington Post, Woldemichael said, “Yeah, he should be arrested. I don’t care about myself — I don’t want revenge — but he should be educated. He’s a dangerous guy and there’s no reason he’s not going to do it again to another guy. He’s full of hate to a certain group.”
Charlotte-Meckleburg Police Department told WBTV on Tuesday that police were investigating the case and that no arrests had been made so far.
“First and foremost, we’re relieved the driver is ok and was not seriously injured,” the spokesperson wrote. “Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable and is not tolerated on the Uber platform. As soon as we were made aware, we permanently removed the rider’s account.”
The assault on Woldemichael is just one such Islamophobic attack in the United States and other western nations after the Paris attacks last week claimed by the Islamic State killed at least 129 people and injured another 350.
This article originally appeared on Huffington Post