Uber Driver Tried to Run Down Customer, Prosecutors Allege

Uber Driver Tried to Run Down Customer, Prosecutors Allege
File photo by Dave DeHetre/Flickr

The annals of allegedly bad ride-hailing drivers just keep growing.

Today's suspect: 46-year-old Phillip Reid Bagwell of Sherman Oaks, and formerly of Uber. Prosecutors say that on July 9 he gave a customer a ride to a comedy club in West Hollywood. He's been ordered to stand trial for what allegedly happened that summer night.

The passenger forgot her phone in the vehicle, so she called the driver and he returned, authorities said. But instead of handing it over, Bagwell held it for ransom, according to allegations aired in a statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office this week.

"When Bagwell returned, he allegedly refused to give the phone back unless the victim paid him," the DA's office stated. "The defendant then drove off, causing the victim to fall down ... "

He "nearly ran her over," according to the statement.

Bagwell pleaded not guilty late yesterday. Some of the details of the allegations were developed during a preliminary hearing, prosecutors said.

The suspect is charged with suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon (the vehicle), attempted extortion and petty theft. Bagwell has a record, prosecutors said.

He has felony convictions for grand theft (1990 and 1998), and forgery (1991), the DA's office stated.

The ex–Uber driver faces four years and eight months in state prison if he's successfully prosecuted. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for March 30.

We reached out to Uber for comment but didn't hear back.

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