CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte Uber passenger was caught on camera Saturday night telling her driver to ‘Go back to Asia.’
Outhay Chokbengboun drives for Uber part-time.
The longtime Charlotte resident originally from Laos spoke exclusively to Channel 9 about the incident and he said he’s never experienced anything like what happened to him Saturday night.
“I don’t understand why people want to do that,” he said. “I’m just trying to do my job, and be on my way, that’s all.”
Chokbengboun said he picked up a small group who ended up wanting to go to a different destination than the one that was entered in the app.
“They don’t want to go to the bar and I was like, ‘You gotta change that in your phone’, I’m like, ‘I can’t do that I’m driving,’” he said.
He said the situation started to escalate with one of the riders and he decided to pull into a gas station to let them out.
In the driver’s dash camera video, one of the passengers can be heard asking the driver, “Sir, can I bribe you to get us home?” before another passenger says, “No we don’t want to drive home with this f***** a******.
The camera recorded that rider using both curse words and racial slurs towards Chokbengboun.
Then she said she was calling 911.
“I’m just trying to be calm and you know, let her do her thing and I just want her out of my car, but she started coming behind my car and stuff like that and wanted my address,” he said.
In cellphone video outside the car, the woman could then be heard saying, “f***** a****** Go back to Asia.”
“She said go back to your country,” Chokbengboun said. “I was like, ‘I don’t understand that, why you have to say all this stuff? What did I do to you? I just drive.’”
This is the latest hate-based incident we’ve seen play out on video across the country specifically against Asian Americans.
Channel 9 checked with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and as of May, there were no documented anti-Asian hate crimes reported since 2019.
Police note that for an incident to be classified as a hate crime, it has to meet certain basic elements.
Channel 9 tried reaching out to the woman in the video through her work email and a listed phone number, but was unable to get in touch with her.
Her employer told Channel 9 they have zero tolerance against discrimination and she has since resigned from her position.
Uber has removed that woman’s access to their app calling the actions in the video ‘appalling.’
Chokbengboun told Channel 9 he has this message for those who see the video: “Treat others how you want to be treated.”
(WATCH: Man caught on camera trashing Korean-owned convenience store in uptown Charlotte)
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