HOUSTON — An Uber driver said he was assaulted by a passenger for playing gospel music and showing common courtesy by addressing a woman as “ma’am.”
The passenger, Monique Ann Lookadoo, is charged with assault and interference with emergency telephone call.
Out of the hundreds of Uber rides Arthella Perkins has given over the past year and a half, the hour-long ride on Sunday morning is one that may steer him away from driving, for a while.
According to Houston police, Perkins picked up Lookadoo shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday outside a Subway restaurant in the 7500 block of Westheimer.
Perkins said Lookadoo had an attitude the moment she got in the back seat of his car, and demanded he take a specific route to get to her destination.
She was like, ‘look, I paid for this and you need to take me where I need to go,'” Perkins explained.
Lookadoo instructed the driver to take her to Briscoe Street, but would not give an exact address.
Lookadoo told the driver to drop her off at the “dead end” of the street, and the driver began to fear he would be robbed. As they were pulling up to the dead end, Lookadoo allegedly starting hitting the driver in the back of the head while the car was still in motion.
The driver tried to dial 911, but Lookadoo snatched his cellphone out of his hand and kept attacking him, police said.
“She grabbed my phone off the holder in the front and wouldn’t give it back to me. She started going through her bags at one point and I thought she was trying to get a weapon or something, I didn’t know. So I said let me separate myself,” Perkins said.
HPD arrived and placed Lookadoo under arrest.
The driver said Lookadoo claimed she felt disrespected because he was playing gospel entertainer Kirk Franklin’s Praise channel on Sirius XM radio during the ride. He also said the woman, who is 31 years old, did not like him referring to her as “ma’am.”
Lookadoo was jailed and her bail was set at $1,000.
Perkins said Lookadoo is now banned from Uber for life after he reported the incident to the ride-share company.
Perkins, who has a 4.85 Uber rating and been given 5-stars for 574 trips, said it’s a secret when he’ll begin driving again.
“I just want to spend time with my wife and my son because that really jarred me like ‘woah.’ A lot of things went through my head like what could’ve happened to me,” Perkins said.
noun— a term of respectful or polite address used for a woman.
“excuse me, ma’am”