Benjamin Golden is out of a job after the Taco Bell executive was caught on video allegedly attacking an Uber driver and getting a face full of mace in return.
The incident was caught on video and went viral this week, showing the 32-year-old Golden grow angry after the driver cut the ride short and kicked him out of the car. Golden appeared to be intoxicated and could not communicate his destination, and then grew angry when driver Edward Caban didn’t seem to know where to go.
Caban then told Golden that the ride was over, but when the driver pulled over into a shopping center, his passenger refused to leave.
“Get out of my car or I will call the police,” Caban said (via CNBC).
Finally Golden grew angry, and the video shows him grabbing Caban by the hair and slamming his head into the side of the car.
The Uber driver was able to compose himself enough to grab a can of pepper spray and spray it into the eyes of Golden, who then stumbled out of the car. Caban followed after him, yelling to call the police.
Caban, who uploaded the YouTube video of the attack, described how he sensed that the attack was coming.
“I grabbed the pepper spray from my center console and put it under my right thigh and flipped my camera around…as [I] always do when my spidey senses start tingling…We went back and fourth a bit before I told him if he [didn’t] get out [I] would call the police. At which point he opened his door and began beating me over the head. I fumbled with the safety on the pepper spray while trying to protect my face with my other arm, I broke free from him grabbing me by the hair on the back of my head, and sprayed his face until he got out of the car, at which point [I] left the vehicle.”
The 32-year-old Golden was picked up a short time later by police and booked on charges of public intoxication and assaulting a taxicab operator, both misdemeanors.
The incident didn’t end there for Benjamin Golden. Soon after the video went viral — it has been viewed on YouTube more than 500,000 times — he was identified as a marketing executive for Taco Bell.
In a statement issued Monday to the Los Angeles Times, Taco Bell said that Benjamin Golden had been fired.
“Given the behavior of the individual, it is clear he can no longer work for us. We have also offered and encouraged him to seek professional help,” the company said in the statement.
— Gisela Margarita (@GiselaPerezTV) November 2, 2015
The firing ends what appeared to be a promising career for Golden. He led the company’s move into mobile ordering and was a key player behind the app that was named one of the Top 25 Ads of 2014 by Fast Company, Golden’s online bio shows.
Golden himself is highly regarded in the marketing world, and earlier this year took part in a speaker series for marketing executives. But, even Golden’s bio for the event noted his love of drinking.
“As a seven-year veteran of Yum! Brands, Taco Bell’s parent company, he has gained experience across the broader organization ranging from investor relations to public relations. As a southerner who enjoys mint juleps and horse racing, Ben has equally (and happily) embraced the sunshine of Southern California.”
Golden will also need to find a new way to get home after a night of drinking. Uber spokeswoman Kayla Whaling said he will banned for life from using the transit service.
Whaling also said that Caban is doing well after the assault, CNBC reported.
Caban told KNBC-TV Channel 4 that his days as an Uber driver are over.
“I wanted to make sure he didn’t get away,” Caban said. “I have lost so much money on people like him and I’m done dealing with it. They take the food right out of my mouth.”
Benjamin Golden has not spoken publicly since being fired by Taco Bell in the wake of his allegedly drunken attack on an Uber driver. Golden has also deleted his Twitter account.
[Image via YouTube]