What to Know
- Lyft passenger caught on camera savagely attacking driver in middle of a ride in Queens has turned himself in, law enforcement sources say
- George Catalano will face charges of reckless endangerment and assault
- Video of attack which took place last Thursday was provided to News 4 by driver Eduardo Madiedo, who was not seriously injured in the attack
The Lyft passenger who was caught on camera savagely attacking his driver in the middle of a ride in Queens has stomach issues and was in pain at the time, his lawyer told a judge late Thursday.
Video of the brutal attack which took place last week was provided to News 4 by driver Eduardo Madiedo, who was not seriously injured in the attack.
The suspect, 36-year-old George Catalano, turned himself in and faces reckless endangerment and assault charges. Prosecutors at his arraignment late Thursday night said Catalano has been charged with assault in the past.
The footage shows the pickup beginning normally enough; a woman and man both get in the car and ask to be driven to Mount Sinai Hospital in Astoria.
Catalano appears to be in some sort of obvious distress and is seen laying down on the back seat and moaning. He then takes off his sweatshirt and irately asks the driver to speed up and weave through traffic.
Madiedo pushes back, telling Catalano "excuse me man, if you're going to be disrespectful, I'll just pull over right now."
It's that remark that sets the irate Catalano off. He whales on Madiedo from the back seat, and at one point tries to get in the front seat of the car, which is still in motion.
Catalano and the other passenger then get out of the car, but not before the suspect hits Madiedo again before running off.
"I just felt like, less than human almost," he told News 4. Madiedo said he may never drive for Lyft again, but is happy that Catalano is behind bars.
"I feel relieved that they got him in custody, and that he’s actually going to face consequences," said Madiedo.
Catalano was granted supervised release, and is due back in court July 10. Catalano's lawyers said late Thursday that he has stomach issues and he was in pain. Lyft says he has been permanently banned from the service.