Local Uber driver reacts to California Uber driver assault - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Local Uber driver reacts to California Uber driver assault

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Cesar Punski is a musician by day and an Uber driver by night.

“It's great for musicians,” he says. “You have a job to come home to when you get back from tour.”

Cesar is not the only person to take on that dual identity.

Uber estimates 1/3 of their drivers use the service to supplement their income.

“Uber definitely helped me out with my bills, my student loans,” he says. “I feel a lot more free now.”

But video of a brutal assault of a California Uber driver is causing a stir.

An Uber spokesperson told NewsChannel 5 by phone that they are reviewing the incident.

Some are wondering if those looking to become Uber drivers will be turned off by the incident.

Cesar says not him, but for others, it's possible.

“That will probably be enough for some people to lose interest if they wanted to be a driver.

The company tells me it strives for driver safety,

Saying it encourages drivers to end trips if they feel threatened.

Cesar says Uber also gives regular conduct code updates.

“If someone gets aggressive, they kinda give suggestions on the best way to deal with that.” he says. “I would have probably got out of the car and suggested the guy get out of the vehicle.”

In addition, that California Uber driver had a camera in his car as an added layer of security.

Cesar isn't so sure he would do the same.

“If there's a camera visible, they might feel awkward,” he says.

He says it could ruin that sense of privacy and comfort he aims to create for his passengers.

“No one's trying to get called out for going somewhere,” he says. “We're supposed to be your friend with a car.”

Cesar says he's been driving Uber here in the area for more than a year - and has never had a violent incident.

As for recommending cameras in cars - Uber declined to comment on that possibility at this time.

Copyright 2015 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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