Police in Austin, Texas, have accused an Uber driver of pulling a knife on a passenger and punching him in the face after they got into a political argument in early November.
Officers responded around 12:10 a.m. on Nov. 10 to a call in the 2500 block of Spring Creek Drive from a man who’d been in a fight, according to an arrest affidavit filed this week.
The man told police he had requested an Uber to take him to Spring Creek Drive, but on the way, he and the driver, who police later identified as Glenn Etienne, 28, got into an argument over politics, the document said.
The argument continued after the pair arrived and spilled out of the car.
“After the victim exited the vehicle, he was approached by Etienne,” the affidavit said. “The victim stated Etienne had a hunting knife in his hand and was pointing it at him saying, ‘Come fight me now’ as he approached him.”
The document said the man told the driver it wasn’t “manly” to pull a knife on him, which prompted him to set the knife down on the hood of his car.
“Etienne then walked back to the victim without the knife and struck him in the face with a closed fist,” the affidavit said.
The man tried to take a picture of the driver’s license plate, but, according to the report, Etienne slapped the cellphone out of his hand. The victim grabbed the phone and called police, and Etienne took off.
The affidavit said Etienne admitted to delivering “a slap not a punch” to the victim and that he does keep a knife in his vehicle within reach.
Etienne faces a charge of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.