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Former Uber driver charged with battery in alleged assault on rider in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO – A man who drove for the ridesharing service Uber in San Francisco has been charged with assaulting a customer.

District Attorney George Gascon says Daveea Whitmire, of San Francisco, was charged Tuesday with misdemeanour battery of a transit passenger. The 28-year-old is accused of verbally and physically assaulting a passenger he picked up in the city’s Castro District on Nov. 24.

Prosecutors say Whitmire became angry after the rider took pictures of his car with a smartphone. They say he slapped the phone out of the rider’s hands and elbowed him in the chest.

Gascon says more state regulation is needed for the fast-growing and popular rideshare companies.

Whitmire’s attorney, Kimberly Lutes-Koths, says her client is being used as a pawn in the district attorney’s war against rideshare services.

Whitmire has pleaded not guilty to the charge.