Video: University of Michigan student verbally assaults Uber driver

Mar 28, 2016 at 2:20 pm
A video that was uploaded to YouTube last week shows University of Michigan student Jake Croman berating Uber driver Artur Zawada in a cringeworthy, explicative-filled rant.

The video starts with a student, one in a group of men, questioning Zawada saying, "You’re not going to let us go?"

At this point Croman, wearing a black fur-lined jacket, comes forward and whips out his phone to record Zawada, who is already taping him. "You’re canceling us again why? For what?" 

Before Zawada can answer Croman, whose Instagram says he's graduating in 2016, launches into a discriminatory tirade. 

"They don’t give a shit about you. They don’t give two fucks. There’s 50 of you, and there is one of me here. Who spends the most money, you little fuck? Yeah, fuck you, Artur, you little faggot fuck. You wanna kick me off? Kick me off, you little piece of shit. You’re an Uber driver. Go fucking drive, you little fuck. Minimum wage faggot. Go fuck yourself. You’re working all day? Guess what? I’m going to sit on my ass and watch TV. Fuck you."

Zawada spoke with college news network The Tab and explained that before the video started, he told Croman that he wouldn't drive him because of a previous trip where the group had not been respectful. 

"I already told him I would never take him again," says Zawada. "He knew that but he didn’t cancel the trip. I pulled in, I didn’t even say anything to the guy, and that happened. So I pulled out my cell phone and recorded him. He should just have canceled before I came over. They were looking for trouble. They were hoping I would lose my cool."

Buzzfeed spoke with Ann Arbor's police, who shared that Zawada filed a police report on March 23, about an incident on March 20 where he says he was verbally abused by a man he had driven before. 

“I have lived in this country for 30 years,” Zawada told The Tab. “To see someone have complete disregard for another human being — to be abused just because they overloaded the car or they are mean or rude, I have to put a stop for it. I was shocked. I was just in disbelief.”

For the University of Michigan's part, they have released a statement: "We are extremely disappointed in the behavior depicted in this video. No one should be treated with such disrespect."

Buzzfeed, however, reports that the school's spokesperson had no information as to whether disciplinary action had been taken against Croman, who is a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. 

Croman released the following statement to Buzzfeed:

"This video shows one side of an argument I had with an Uber driver two weeks ago after he refused to pick me up on the basis of my 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. 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."

When Buzzfeed asked the Ann Arbor police department about said complaint, a spokesperson was unable to locate his name in the system. When Buzzfeed followed up with Croman, he said he couldn't provide the case number because he was away from school.