A corporate Taco Bell executive was taken into custody — and then dismissed from his job with the fast-food giant — after viciously attacking an Uber driver in a confrontation that Southern California police said was captured on a dashboard camera.
Benjamin Golden, 32, was arrested on assault and disorderly conduct charges, according to the Costa Mesa Police Department.
Golden, of Newport Beach, was booked into jail but has since been released, police said.
The charges stem from a Friday night encounter with an Uber driver, according to police.
Golden requested an Uber ride from a Newport Beach bar around 8 p.m. but couldn’t give the driver clear directions to his destination, according to a police department news release, which called him an “intoxicated male passenger.”
Eventually, the driver pulled into a parking lot and asked Golden to leave the car.
“All right man, I gotta kick you out,” Caban said in the profanity-laced clip, before explaining that his passenger was too intoxicated to relay directions.
As the exchange continued, Caban said the trip was over. Caban told the passenger to exit the vehicle, which was parked.
“Get out of my car or I will call the police,” Caban eventually said. The passenger then opened the door before turning violent.
The passenger, who was sitting in the back seat, slapped Caban on the head, swore at him, and pulled his hair. The driver pepper-sprayed Golden in self-defense, police said.
“I wanted to make sure he didn’t get away,” Caban told an NBC affiliate. “I have lost so much money on people like him and I’m just done dealing with it. People like that, they take the food right out of my mouth.”
Uber spokeswoman Kayla Whaling told the Times that Golden won’t be able to use the service again. It was unclear if Golden had an attorney, and a phone number for him could not immediately be located.
The Taco Bell Corp. told The Washington Post in a statement that Golden was a corporate employee. The Orange County Register reported that Golden had worked as a brand manager for the company.
“Given the behavior of the individual, it is clear he can no longer work for us,” Taco Bell said in the statement. “We have also offered and encouraged him to seek professional help.”
This story, originally published on Nov. 2, has been updated.