ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – A University of Michigan student is getting a lot of unwelcome attention after his verbal assault on a Uber driver went viral on YouTube.
In the 33-second-long video, the student uses a homophobic slur against the driver several times, along with dropping numerous F-bombs and other insults.
“You’re canceling us again, why, for what? They don’t give a s*** about you, they don’t give two f****,” the student says. “You little f***** f***. You want to kick me off? Kick me off you piece of s***. You’re an Uber driver, go f****** drive, you little f***. Minimum wage f*****. Go f*** yourself.”
Click here to watch the video (WARNING: Contains explicit language)
The school released a statement saying the actions of the student are “reprehensible” and completely inconsistent with the school’s values.
“We expect more from members of the U-M community,” Rick Fitzgerald, a university spokesperson, said in a statement. “Regardless of the circumstances, no one deserves to be treated that way. This matter has been reported to Ann Arbor Police. We are awaiting the police report as we consider our next steps.”
Fitzgerald said the dean of students met with both the Uber driver and the students involved last week.
The student at the center of the video — Jake Croman — said he was simply reacting after the driver directed a racial slur at him. Croman, a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, told Mlive.com in a statement that the Uber driver refused to pick him up a few weeks earlier on the basis of religion.
“What you don’t see in the video is that the driver had made a number of offensive anti-Semitic remarks that provoked my response,” the statement said. “I am not proud of my reaction to his discrimination and I regret my choice of words. Shortly after the verbal altercation, I filed a complaint with the Ann Arbor police department and they are now dealing with the issue.”
The driver, Artur Zawada, said in a comment on the video that this was the fourth incident with Croman and his friends.
“Nov. Dec. and twice in March. I told him on 3rd occasion that I requested Uber to banned him but he is/was using friends accounts. Told him and his friends that I will not take them and that he/they need to get out of my car….. For that I was falsely accused, called names etc. 4th time… Rider knew from Uber application who is the driver. He had option to cancel to avoid any issues but he/they proceeded to abuse, harass, belittle and provoke like kindergarten thugs.”
WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton said Croman could possibly be kicked out of school over the incident.
“The university is going to turn it over to Ann Arbor police, the fraternity will see if he should stay and who knows what the university will do,” said Langton. “But no one has a right to go to school.”
An investigation is ongoing.