Daveea Whitmire of San Francisco was charged Tuesday with misdemeanor battery of a transit passenger, District Attorney George Gascon said. The 28-year-old Whitmire is accused of verbally and physically assaulting a passenger he picked up in the city’s Castro District on Nov. 24.
After arguing with the rider, Whitmire became angry when the rider took pictures of his car with a smartphone. Whitmire slapped the phone out of the rider’s hands and elbowed him in the chest, district attorney spokesman Alex Bastian said.
Whitmire has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge and is out on $10,000 bail.
Gascon said he plans to use Whitmire’s case to argue that more state regulation is needed for the fast-growing and popular rideshare industry. The district attorney said he has been in discussion with the California Public Utilities Commission.
“We want to make sure that there are proper background investigations for those who are working for these companies,” Gascon said. “We need to make sure there is sufficient insurance to protect consumers.”