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CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago Uber driver says he felt an excruciating pain as he was driving – only to discover he’d been shot in the back by one of his own passengers.

As CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reported Tuesday, the Uber driver, Adebayo Adeyemo – Bayo for short – drove himself to the emergency room at Stroger Hospital of Cook County. He is still recovering there, and he is also calling on Uber to make changes.

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Adeyemo said he had a bad feeling about his passenger based on their conversation leading up to the shooting — but felt pressured to continue the ride because drivers are encouraged to keep their cancellation rates low.

“I have been scared to be in public,” he said. “I have been scared to go back to work.”

Adeyemo said that per Uber’s policy, he only had a first name for the passenger — “Luis” — when he picked him up on Oct. 20. The man was acting strangely — and made a comment about Adeyemo’s race, “explaining how Mexicans did not like Blacks,” according to the report made by Illinois State Police.

Expressway cameras on the Dan Ryan captured Adeyemo’s black Volvo on the road.

Soon after, Adeyemo said: “I heard a loud bang and I felt a sharp pain in my back. The passenger then told me that I had been shot.”

Terrified, Adeyemo drove himself to Stroger Hospital, and “Luis” jumped out and ran.

Adeyemo had been shot in back. He had a ruptured spleen and fractured ribs.

The next day, investigators were able to get more information from Uber — and the rider was taken into custody two days after the shooting.

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“Now, do we know that this was racially motivated? No, we don’t,” said Adeyemo’s attorney Bryant Greening with Legal Rideshare LLC. “But that comment made Bayo feel uncomfortable, and Bayo should have had the option to cancel the ride at that point.”

Greening recently filed a lawsuit against Uber — arguing the company could and should do more to keep drivers safe — even in the middle of the ride.

“Uber’s drivers are expected to keep their cancellation rates low, and if they cancel too many rides, they are you know they can lose access to the platform,” Greening said. “They need to have more discretion over the times that they cannot accept a ride – or cancel a ride – during a ride. If they feel uncomfortable, they should be able to leave the situation.”

We wanted to know — how often do drivers get assaulted like this? Uber released a safety report in 2019 detailing deaths and sexual assaults.

But the company not include info on cases like Adeyemo’s, where the driver is assaulted but not killed.

Ultimately, the rider in this case was charged in the shooting. But Adeyemo hopes his experience leads to change.

“I am scared for myself, and all my fellow drivers,” he said. “We really need movers help to make this a safe experience for everyone.”

The lawsuit asks for $50,000 to help pay Adeyemo’s medical expenses. Uber declined to comment on this story citing pending litigation.

The company has said that the vast majority of trips on the Uber platform result in no issues.

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We were also waiting for a response from Uber late Tuesday on whether they offer any kind of assistance to drivers seriously injured on the job.

Source: CBS Chicago

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