An Uber driver has already lost his source of income, and may also lose his sight after a violent attack by a would-be rider that was captured on dash-camera footage.
Driver Han Quiping had his dashcam on when a man came running toward his car on East 14th Street about a month ago, trying to illegally hail the Uber to pick him up. Quiping refused the man's request, however.
With the driver's side window open, the man reached inside and bashed him in the eye with the cellphone he can be seen on video holding, according to police and Quiping's wife. A month after the attack, Quiping's eye is still bandaged, and his wife said that doctors aren't sure if his vision can be saved.
"Doctors say maybe after three months, maybe he can see a little bit. Now, no see," she said.
Ride share drivers say that attacked like the one on Quiping happen far too often, but frequently go unreported.
"It happens a lot, it happens while you're in traffic while you're under the light. It's very scary," said Tina Raveneau, who is a driver and is a member of the independent drivers guild. The group has said that drivers are getting hurt or killed across the country, from carjackings to murders.
Earlier in September, Kuldip Singh was killed by a stray bullet in Harlem. Despite the risks, Raveneau said drivers and their families have very few on-the-job protections.
It is uncertain how Quiping will be able to support his family as he's unable to drive due to his impaired vision suffered as a result of the attack. In a statement, Uber said "Our hearts go out to the driver during this tough time and we wish him a speedy recovery."
However, a spokesperson for the company refused to answer whether Quiping is receiving any financial aid from the company since Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors. The driver said that the dash cam that captured the attack was paid for by him. The drivers guild said that despite multiple requests, ride share companies refuse to install the cameras to help keep drivers safe.