A North Carolina Uber driver from Ethiopia was attacked by a passenger on Sunday morning when the passenger claimed the driver was Muslim.
“He asked me if I was a Muslim. I said I was not a Muslim,” said the victim, Samson Woldemichael. “I was driving and he hit me while I was driving.”
Woldemichael explained that the drive itself had been peaceful but that when they arrived at the drop-off point, the passenger became belligerent.
“He said he’s gonna shoot me right in the face. He’s gonna strangle me,” Woldemichael told WBTV. “I asked him why. He was calling me too many bad word names… insulting me. He told me I was a Muslim.”
“I told him in the first place I was not a Muslim. It’s not right to generalize people and do that,” he said.
After the passenger threatened to kill him, Woldemichael asked the passenger to leave the car, but the man refused. Woldemichael then began to drive around.
“I started driving because I didn’t feel safe anymore to park there,” he said. “So after driving around the block, he hit from the back real hard on the forehead. Fortunately, I didn’t lose consciousness. I didn’t pass out. He charged with one and he was beating with the other repeatedly on my head.”
Woldemichael then stopped the car and honked loudly, and the passenger got out of the car and ran away.
Since the incident, Woldemichaelis shaken and hopes the police are able to track down his attacker.
“There are people who are not originally from here but who are really Americans in their hearts. They love the system. They love the country and they want to protect the system here,” he said. “And they want to raise their kids peacefully with the existing system. They believe in America, so it’s better to work with them than generalizing them and attacking them.”