A wealthy University of Michigan student whose verbal attack against an Uber driver was filmed and has gone viral has resulted in the Uber driver being fired after he was accused of being anti-semitic.
Student Jake Croman, son of New York real estate developer Steven Croman, and his friends verbally taunted Uber driver Artur Zawada after he refused their fare.
Mr Zawada filmed and uploaded a video of the incident and it has since been viewed more than 600,000 times.
“You’re canceling us again why? For what?” Mr Croman, a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, asked him.
Getting no response, Mr Croman then repeatedly swore at Mr Zawada and used anti-gay slurs.
“They [Uber] don’t give a s**t about you. They don’t give two f***s. There’s 50 of you, and there is one of me here. Who spends the most money, you little f***?”
[Warning: this video contains explicit language]
Mr Zawada filed a criminal complaint with Ann Arbor police.
The Michigan Review reported that Mr Zawada was let go by Uber as claims surfaced that other passengers had heard him making anti-semitic remarks.
Mr Zawada strongly denied the claims.
“They do whatever they want,” said Mr Zawada. “No call, no email, no legal doc. I’m losing money everyday, and I did nothing wrong.”
An Uber spokesperson said both Mr Zawada and Mr Croman have been suspended while they are investigating the incident.
Mr Zawada, 50, a Polish immigrant, said he had never been treated as badly as by Mr Croman during his 30 years in the US.
He told college news network The Tab that he had picked up Mr Croman before and the trips had gone badly, so he refused to pick him up again.
“He knew that but he didn’t cancel the trip,” he said. “I pulled in, I didn’t even say anything to the guy, and that happened. So I pulled out my cell phone and recorded him. He should just have canceled before I came over. They were looking for trouble. They were hoping I would lose my cool.”
A University of Michigan spokesperson said they are “extremely disappointed” in the behaviour of some of its students, and the dean of the university had met with both the students and the driver.
Mr Croman said in a statement to media outlets including BuzzFeed News that the driver had refused to pick him up due to the driver being anti-semitic.
“What you don’t see in the video is that the driver had made a number of offensive anti-Semitic remarks that provoked my response,” he said. ”I am not proud of my reaction to his discrimination and I regret my choice of words. Shortly after the verbal altercation, I filed a complaint with the Ann Arbor Police Department and they are now dealing with the issue.”
BuzzFeed could find no record of Mr Croman’s police complaint.
His father Steven has reportedly used tactics like intimidation and hiring a police officer to evict his tenants from rent-controlled apartments, spurring a group called the Croman Tenants’ Alliance to warn otherw of his actions, as reported by New York Daily News.
His son works at the company, 9300 Realty, as an associate, according to his LinkedIn page.Reuse content