CRIME
10/01/2014 03:20 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Uber Passenger Roberto Chicas May Lose Eye After Hammer Attack

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A rider in an Uber car in San Francisco may lose use of his eye after his driver allegedly struck him with a hammer last week in San Francisco.

Roberto Chicas may never regain vision in his left eye, his attorney told SFGate. He will undergo facial reconstruction surgeries, the lawyer said.

Chicas, a 35-year-old barkeeper, had been socializing with two friends in a bar after he finished his shift on Sept. 23. They ordered a ride on UberX, the car-sharing service, and allege that their driver Patrick Karajah became erratic and agitated when they questioned his route to Chicas' home in Bernal Heights via a freeway rather than city streets in the early morning hours.

Karajah, 26, forced the two men and one woman from his car when he suddenly snapped and hit Chicas in the head with a claw hammer, according to CBS San Francisco

Karajah pleaded not guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and battery with seriously bodily injury.

Uber lamented Chicas' injuries in a statement to HuffPost.

"The injuries suffered by Mr Chicas are deplorable and we wish him a quick recovery," said Eva Behrend, a spokeswoman for Uber Technologies. "Uber’s insurance provider is in contact with representatives of both the rider and driver, and of course we will continue to cooperate with authorities throughout the investigation."

A woman who answered a phone number listed as Karajah's hung up on a HuffPost reporter.

UPDATE: This story was updated to include a statement from Uber.

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