TALAHASEE, FL – An Uber driver pepper sprayed a passenger in his vehicle during a violent flatulence incident late Saturday night that began with too much inexpensive draft specials, sliders, and bottom shelf liquor from a local late night dive bar.
According to a current police investigation, Geoff Grainger, 70, responded to the livery request of Ian Leonard, 22, who was at neighborhood spot Cocks and Hens. Extremely inebriated by his own omission, friends of Leonard got him in the car and once situated, the trouble began.
Shortly after pulling off, Leonard’s stomach began grumbling; Grainger claims uncontrollable belching began and the stench was unbearable in the confines of his Ford Fusion. In a statement given to the police, Grainger says he begged Leonard to roll his window down, fearing the interior stench would stick and devalue his vehicle. Investigators confirmed the vehicle only has 8400 miles on it.
Grainger’s request fell on deaf ears. Video surveillance from a dash cam shows Leonard attacking him with a severe noisy bout of flatulence that quickly and violently escalated. Several angles of footage show Leonard laughing while continuing to bombard Grainger with nauseating odors.
“Everything sounded so wet. I was afraid he was back there having a colonic on my backseat.” Grainger said to investigators.
Lab analysis from soiled samples in the vehicle’s interior shows high levels of anabolic malt, fermented corn maize, undigested animal enzymes, and musk like plant textures was the culprit for the chitterling sewage odor that reeked through the vehicle.
Reaching the point of suffocation, Grainger admits he pulled over initially to reason with Leonard about his behavior. Leonard, according to him, took an aggressive flatulence stance and bombarded him with multiple attacks, prompting him to defended himself by pepper spraying Leonard until the can ran dry.
“I was in fear for my life,” says Grainger, “he was yelling at me telling me to choke on it.”
Grainger, who is a retired Waffle House cook who also holds a Florida firearms license, says he was just following state law and standing his ground. Leonard, on the other hand, says the attack was not only intentional, but a hate crime against young adults.
“Grandpa just sprayed the crap out of me because I got wasted at a hole in the wall, said a frustrated Leonard outside of police headquarters. “Just because he’s one foot in the grave and can’t hold his butt pee sprits is no reason to come down on me because I can. I’m the youth of America and this is age discrimination.”
Leonard was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault, a felony, and four counts of premediated battery. He was released from custody Monday after posting $5000 bond, and is scheduled for a February 26th court appearance.
Grainger was arrested and charged with one count possession of a restricted weapon, a felony; one count of aggravated assault was thrown out. He is currently still in custody awaiting donations for his $5000 bond; he is scheduled for a February 29th court appearance.
Uber said in an official statement that while flatulent attacks against their drivers has been hitting the news more regularly, attacks are down. However, they will continue to provide comfort and circulation to their passengers with updated guidelines for drivers on dealing with enclosed spaces.
“We definitely will take into consideration letting our drivers roll down their windows in the future.” said spokesman Rami Emmanuel. “Keeping the windows up is internal safety measures.”
In the meantime, Leonard plans to file an age discrimination suit against Grainger, as well as emotional distress suit against Uber for a poor rideshare experience after his trial.
“If I can help just one person stand up for their right to break wind and be their role model, I’ve done my job. It’s better out than in.”