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A white man from Cincinnati went on a drunken, racist tirade against his black Uber driver — telling him he hoped “to hell you get shot, n—-r,” according to police and advocates.
Michael Winterman, 60, threatened the driver, Abdelkadre Khamis Ahmat – an immigrant from Chad in central Africa – during a ride on May 27 when Khamis’ GPS system stopped working.
Police said Winterman — who was arrested late Wednesday — hurled racial slurs while threatening Ahmat and significantly damaged his car before fleeing the scene.
Video was released Tuesday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Ohio affiliate purportedly showing a masked Winterman in back of Ahmat’s car while looking at his phone.
The clip identified Winterman as the “racist passenger” who called 911 after Ahmat’s GPS system stopped working.
The driver had asked for directions back to Winterman’s home, but the irate and inebriated passenger instead called 911 to say that he wouldn’t leave until he was dropped off at his destination, CAIR officials said.
Winterman then leaned toward Ahmat as he prepared to get out and told him in slurred speech, “I hope to hell you get shot, n—-r,” video shows.
Winterman proceeded to vandalize Ahmat’s car and assaulted the driver by hitting him on the shoulder, while telling him to remember “you are black and I am white,” CAIR officials said.
Ahmat’s Uber account was initially shut down following the incident, but has since been restored. Winterman has been banned from the ride-hailing service, a company spokesman told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“This is the first [time] we’ve seen of the video, and what is shown is appalling and unacceptable,” Uber said in a statement Tuesday. “Violence and discrimination have no place on the Uber platform. We’ve been attempting to reach out to the driver to get more information since the incident was first reported to us last month.”
Cincinnati police said Winterman — who had two black eyes in a wanted photo released early Wednesday — was arrested later that evening on charges of ethnic intimidation, criminal damaging and disorderly conduct.
One day after the alleged attack, Winterman went to an Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles facility to get a new license photo, where his apparent injuries from the night before are clearly visible.
“His actions were the most horrendous I’ve seen toward an Uber driver or a taxi driver in my career,” Cincinnati police Sgt. Eric Franz told The Post Thursday. “I cannot believe the way he treated this driver. It’s appalling to one’s sensibilities. And it just doesn’t reflect good on our city. We’re a very culturally diverse city.”
Winterman, who appeared in court Thursday, was ordered held on $26,000 bond, WXIX reported.
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