12:26 GMT +324 September 2019
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    Lyft driver Eduardo Madiedo is attacked by passenger George Catalanos during a ride to New York's Mount Sinai Hospital in Queens.

    ‘Scared For My Life': Dashcam Records Lyft Rider Brutally Attack Driver (VIDEO)

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    New Yorker Eduardo Madiedo was working as a Lyft driver on the streets of the Queens borough last week when he received a ride request from a pair of locals. Within minutes of his responding to that request, however, things turned into a rideshare nightmare.

    Dashcam footage captured during the May 23 ride begins with a typical interaction, with the ride-hailing residents, a man and a woman, sliding into the backseat of the car and confirming their destination. The duo had requested Madiedo drive them to Mount Sinai Hospital in Astoria.

    As the ride progresses, the male passenger, since identified as 36-year-old George Catalano, appears to be in distress, as he is heard moaning in the backseat. He later begins to remove his sweatshirt before asking Madiedo to drive faster and weave through traffic.

    ​With Catalano growing increasingly irate, Madiedo informs him that he'll pull his car over and end the ride if Catalano "continues to be disrespectful." It's at that moment that Catalano loses his cool and begins to repeatedly punch Madiedo, striking the back of his head and sending his glasses flying to the floor of the car.

    At one point during the encounter, Catalano attempts to jump into the front seat of the car as it's still in motion, all while yelling expletives and hitting Madiedo in the back of the head. After Madiedo manages to safely pull to the side of the road, Catalano's rage only continues, as he exits the vehicle and connects more punches through the driver seat window.

    The video ultimately cuts off with Catalano out of frame and yelling as the woman he was traveling with urges him to calm down. Catalano reportedly ran away from the scene after attacking Madiedo.

    "He started hitting me in the back of head, full force here and then like on the top," Madiedo told local news station CBS New York. "I was definitely afraid of crashing the car, especially without my glasses."

    "I was scared for my life. It was just a surreal moment where you're living outside of your body, and I just wanted it over with… it happened so all of a sudden," he added.

    Local police were informed of the incident moments after the events unfolded last week; however, it would be days before they managed to get ahold of Catalano, who turned himself in at the 114th Precinct on Thursday.

    Local media reports indicate that Catalano has been charged with assault and reckless endangerment. He is awaiting arraignment.

    Although Lyft has permanently banned Catalano from the rideshare service, Madiedo is unsure if he'll continue to work for the company. "I feel like I have to look for a new job or new form of income," he told the WNBC.


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