The Atlanta Uber driver implicated in a social media post that went viral over the weekend never met the passenger involved and has had his Uber account temporarily suspended.
"I’m really angry," Marcus Lewis said during an interview at his attorney's office.
In an open letter to Uber on her publicly accessible Facebook page Taylor Cleary Corey of Florida said her brother, Bo Cleary, had been beaten and robbed after summoning an Uber driver. Uber disputed the claim, telling the AJC, “We have data that shows the trip never happened. The trip was canceled by the driver and never occurred. We have been in contact with the driver and with the account holder. Of course we’ll cooperate with police and provide any information.”
During an interview with the AJC, Lewis said not only did he never pick up Bo Cleary, he never even spoke to him. He did get a summons from someone and called to confirm. It was a woman's voice and he could hear her talking to a "Bo" during their call.
When Lewis arrived at the apartment building the call originated from, no one was there.
"I called the number back and got no answer," Lewis said. "When I got no answer I just canceled the trip."
He then picked up a new fare and went on about his night and didn't give the brief transaction another thought until friends and family members started contacting him, having seen the social media post that included his name and image.
"It’s been miserable," said Lewis, who lives outside Atlanta and has been driving for Uber about eight months. "My family's worried due to the nature that someone’s accusing me of someone, the legal aspect that I could be in some trouble."
An Atlanta Police Department officer interviewed Cleary in the hospital. He'd ended up in drainage ditch and had money and his phone stolen, he told officers.
Lewis said he reached out to Cleary's sister regarding her post to tell her he never encountered her brother but did not hear back. At this point his lawyer is working on clearing his name but that "as far as any civil action we’re exploring all options."
Lewis had been working in a warehouse before undergoing the background check necessary to become an Uber driver. He enjoyed the work and always received high marks from passengers, he said.
"It’s costing me about $200 a day," he said of his current situation. "I can’t earn money with Uber right now because Uber has put my account on hold. It’s been a very big setback. I'm angry. I'm really angry."