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Federal law enforcement officer threatens his Uber driver with a gun

For once, Uber isn't at fault.


Rob Price


Posted on Oct 28, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 8:01 am CDT

Uber drivers have a bad rep after making the news for attacking passengers, racially abusing them, sexually assaulting them or kidnapping them. Now, however, an Uber driver is the victim. In a recent confrontation, a driver found himself staring down the barrel of another man’s gun, as the man asked him whether he wanted “to live or die.” Making matters worse: After the assailant was arrested, it emerged that he was a cop.

The driver, James Brothers, picked up Byron McDonald and three friends just over a week ago at a bar in Salt Lake City, according to KUTV. After dropping off McDonald’s friends, Brothers took McDonald to a hotel, at which point the passenger asked the driver, “Do you want to live or die?”

Then McDonald put a gun to Brothers’ head.

Brothers managed to wrestle free from McDonald’s grasp, although his clothes were ripped in the struggle and he was left with “scratch marks.” 

After Brothers called 911, poice arrested McDonald in the hotel with the help of surveillance footage. Only then did it become clear that McDonald was, in fact, a federal law enforcement officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

McDonald has since been charged with aggravated assault and released on bail. According to a police spokesperson, he was on “official travel at the time of the incident.”

“These are the individuals that [people] look up to for protection,” Brothers told KUTV.

H/T KUTV | Photo via Ken / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Oct 28, 2014, 9:46 am CDT