- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Taco Bell has fired a marketing executive after video showing his drunken assault on a California Uber driver went viral.

Video shows Benjamin Golden hitting Uber driver Edward Caban repeatedly in the head and face. The driver then sprays Mr. Golden with pepper spray, forcing him to exit the car. The Taco Bell executive was arrested by Costa Mesa police shortly after.

Mr. Caban said the altercation began after he asked a noticeably drunk Mr. Golden to exit the vehicle, after he failed to provide the driver with an address or directions. He said he pulled over into a nearby parking lot to let Mr. Golden out, when he suddenly began attacking him.

“I didn’t feel comfortable when I picked him up, and I no longer wanted him in the car at this point,” Mr. Caban wrote in a YouTube description for the video. “I grabbed the pepper spray from my center console and put it under my right thigh and flipped my camera around and, as i always do when my spidey senses start tingling, made a u-turn, then pulled into a nearby well-lit shopping center, and asked him to get out of the car.

“He insisted on continuing, even though I had already ended the ride,” the Uber driver continued. “We went back and fourth [sic] a bit before I told him if he didn’t get out i would call the police. At which point he opened his door and began beating me over the head. I fumbled with the safety on the pepper spray while trying to protect my face with my other arm, I broke free from him grabbing me by the hair on the back of my head, and sprayed his face until he got out of the car, at which point i left the vehicle. Uber drivers don’t get paid enough to deal with this [expletive].”

Mr. Golden, 32, was booked on charges of public intoxication and assaulting a taxicab operator, both misdemeanors.

“Given the behavior of the individual, it is clear he can no longer work for us. We have also offered and encouraged him to seek professional help,” Taco Bell said in a statement, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Mr. Golden has also been banned from using Uber, the company said.

Mr. Caban’s video, uploaded Friday, has surpassed 1.3 million views.

*Warning: Video contains graphic language*

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