Uber Assault Raises Concerns For Metro Ride Sharing Community

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–  An Ankeny man is facing charges after police say he attacked an Uber driver earlier this week.

Police say 23 year-old Patrick Kilmer and a woman got into an Uber they did not order, in the parking lot of the Homewood Suites Hilton Hotel, early New Year’s Day.  Officials say Kilmer punched the driver in the face twice.

Since they couldn’t track the suspect down with Uber records, West Des Moines Police turned to social media. Posting a surveillance photo of Kilmer and the woman on Facebook.  Hours later, he turned himself in.

Kilmer is charged with assault with intent to case injury and is now free on bond.

The incident is catching the attention of all metro Uber drivers. Some say they too have experienced assault from a customer.

“It is just a shame that we are providing this service to people and they still treat us like that,” Uber driver Stephen Snyder said.

Snyder says this type of conflict isn’t always preventable but says he takes steps to stay safe.

“Inside my car I normally have two dash cams one faces out,” Snyder said. “What I have always done is keep my doors locked, roll down the windows and double-check that the passenger matches the app”.

The driver suffered minor injuries, we reached out but have not heard back.

A witness declined comment.