California man sues Uber driver he punched
COSTA MESA, Calif. – A Southern California man charged with assault and battery is accusing the man he was caught on tape punching of assault and battery.
The incident was infamously captured on video, where former Taco Bell executive Benjamin Golden can be seen attacking an Uber driver.
Golden has sued the driver for $5 million, claiming the video was recorded without his consent, a newspaper reported Saturday.
Golden, 32, of Newport Beach was arrested in November and charged with misdemeanor assault and battery for allegedly hitting driver Edward Caban, 23, on Oct. 30 in Costa Mesa in Orange County. Taco Bell fired Golden shortly after the incident became public, saying in a statement it, “…offered and encouraged him to seek professional help.”
In November, the driver sued the 32-year-old Golden for more than $25,000 in damages.
The Orange County Register reported Saturday that Golden filed a cross-complaint last month saying Caban illegally recorded him and posted the video to YouTube.
The move seems a far cry from an interview Golden gave CBS News in November, when he said he was very sorry for the incident and that he wanted to apologize to Caban.
Thirty-two-year-old Golden says he has no memory of his violent behavior caught on dash cam during a ride last Friday in Costa Mesa, California.
“It’s not me in the video, it’s not me,” Golden said, crying. “It was hard to watch and I’m ashamed.”
He says he lost count of how many drinks he had that night. Moments before the attack, the video shows him falling over in the back seat and arguing with the driver, Edward Caban.
“Get out of my car or I will call the police,” Caban tells Golden in the video. That’s when Golden snaps.
“I’m not one to get in fights. I think a lot of people that I know are in shock by what they saw,” Golden said.
Caban used pepper spray to defend himself. He says he’s afraid of Golden and has no intention of meeting him for an apology.
The now-viral video captured by a dashboard-mounted camera shows Golden repeatedly striking Caban on the trip.
According to the newspaper, Golden says in his lawsuit he was intoxicated and began to “fear for his safety and well-being” when the driver pulled over to “kick” him out of the car in an unfamiliar location. In the altercation, Golden was blinded by the driver’s pepper spray, the lawsuit says.
As a result of media coverage, Golden says he suffered humiliation and the loss of his job. The lawsuit claims invasion of privacy, infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery.
In an interview in November, Caban’s attorney Rivers Morrell said the Uber driver was traumatized by the attack.
“It’s been a living nightmare for this young kid who has never had any altercations,” Morrell told the Register. “He’s fearful, he can’t sleep, he just can’t get this out of his head.”
Golden has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.