Bradenton Uber driver arrested for pointing gun at passenger

Patrick McDonald charged with aggravated assault and battery

Patrick McDonald, Manatee County Sheriff's Office photo

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – An Uber ride in Bradenton ended with a driver behind bars after he pointed a gun at his own passenger.

Manatee County deputies say Uber driver Patrick McDonald took things too far. On Friday night he was driving three passengers when one of them complained of being sick so McDonald pulled over on Fairfield Boulevard.

“The Uber driver obviously was concerned that the person would get sick inside his vehicle so he tells him to get out,” Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow said. “He kind of forcibly removes one of them, just kind of escorts the person out of the vehicle.”

An affidavit says McDonald did not want vomit in his $75,000 car. As he began arguing with the passenger, McDonald pulled out a gun, deputies said.

He “was nervous that something might happen,” Bristow said.

McDonald was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault and battery. “Anytime you have a firearm involved in a charge it’s serious. It’s a felony,” Bristow emphasized.

McDonald claimed he acted in self-defense, but deputies say his actions were too violent. “Obviously we have the victim and we have two witnesses, and all their stories were consistent with the fact that he pulls the gun out and points it at them after just a verbal argument,” Bristow said.

Uber released a statement saying:

“This driver’s account has been deactivated as we continue to gather the facts regarding this incident. We stand ready to provide law enforcement with any information that would be helpful to their investigation into this matter.”

The company says McDonald had only been an Uber driver for a few days before the incident.

News Channel 8 repeatedly reached out to McDonald, but he was not available for comment.

“I think the lesson would be: Don’t pull your gun out unless you’re frightened for your life. And this, according to the witnesses, didn’t rise to that level, not anywhere near that level,” Bristow said.

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