Uber driver says passenger put him in choke hold, robbed him on Memphis street


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis Uber driver is recuperating after he claims he was assaulted and robbed Tuesday morning not far from a University of Memphis dormitory.

Adrian Keller says the intended passenger became angry when Keller asked for a gratuity because of hazardous road conditions. MPD and campus police are investigating.

It happened when he picked up a passenger near the Centennial Place dorm, he said. Keller said things began to turn violent even before the man stepped into his vehicle.

“When I picked up the gentleman, he became irate when I asked for extra pay, with regards to the weather,” Keller said. “He refused to close the door. I refused to give him a ride. I went outside to close the door, he hit me in the head several times. He put me in a choke hold.”

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Keller says while he was sprawled out on snowy Norriswood Avenue, the man reached into his jacket pocket, lifted his wallet and stole a substantial amount of money.

Keller took this photo of a person he says robbed him.

He says he was able to get this picture of the suspect as he ran away, saying the man wore dark clothing and had a blue backpack.

Keller says he contacted Memphis Police and U of M campus police. He feels like it won’t be too hard to catch the guy since he used the Uber app and scheduled a ride to Yale Road in the Frayser-Raleigh area.

Keller didn’t feel safe letting us get video of his vehicle and says he has a number of concerns with how Uber treats its drivers — chief among them, screening potential passengers.

“That’s because Uber does not provide the driver with any picture of the rider at any point in time. We’re very limited on what we can do in that regard,” he said.

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Keller says there were several witnesses, but we weren’t able to find anyone who saw the incident or wanted to comment on camera.

We’ve requested a narrative from Memphis Police and campus police say are investigating as well.

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