If Benjamin Golden is indeed remorseful about that videotaped attack on an Uber driver, he has a funny way of showing it. Golden made national headlines after he was recorded drunkenly assaulting someone. Why? Despite his initial shamefacedness, he’s since decided the incident and aftermath of the assault are entirely the driver’s fault — and Golden wants him to cough up a whopping $5 million.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) January 16, 2016
The ex-Taco Bell executive first made headlines when video footage of him assaulting a driver named Edward Caban went viral. The actual attack happened on the evening of October 30, 2015, in Costa Mesa, California.
That night, 32-year-old Golden sent for an Uber driver because he was too drunk to drive home. When Edward picked him up, he soon found out that Benjamin was also too drunk to give proper directions. Increasingly flustered and feeling unsafe, Patch reports that the driver eventually pulled into a parking lot and asked Benjamin Golden to exit the vehicle.
The angry and intoxicated passenger did get out of the car, but not before “punching and slapping” Caban several times, at one point trying to smash the man’s head into the driver side window. Fortunately, Golden wasn’t able to inflict any serious injuries. The full videotaped incident was uploaded to YouTube and can be viewed below.
After footage of the assault went viral and made the news, things quickly went sour for Benjamin. Not only was he hit with misdemeanor assault charges, but NBC News reports that he also lost his marketing position at Taco Bell, a company owned by Yum! Brands. After firing Golden in relation to the assault and resulting scandal, Taco Bell released a statement.
“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.”
What’s interesting is that in the immediate aftermath of the assault case, Benjamin Golden claimed to be remorseful, and to take full responsibility. Months later, his viewpoint has shifted drastically. Through his lawyer, Courtney Pilchman, Golden claims to be the real victim of that October assault.
His first complaint? That he was videotaped without his consent or knowledge. His lawyer hopes to have the tape barred from the case as it was “illegally made by the driver.” In addition to citing a violation of California state law, Pilchman also referred to 23-year-old Caban as an “opportunist.” The lawyer also claims that there is no evidence of any significant damage to the driver following the attack, doubting his claims of post-traumatic stress disorder experienced after the assault.
Also, Golden is suing Caban because the viral nature of his news story caused “severe emotional distress, humiliation, anxiety, fear, pain and suffering and the loss of his job.” Had Caban never taped the assault, Benjamin reasons that his life would be much better than it is today. It probably would be; however, there is something very significant that the former Taco Bell executive is overlooking.
Following the assault, Benjamin Golden wasn’t the only person out of a job; so was the man he was caught on tape hitting. Unable to cope with the fear he felt after being attacked late at night in his Uber vehicle, Edward Caban gave up his driving job.
Not only that, but Benjamin Golden has also once again gone viral, with a response that might not earn him the sympathy he’s seeking. His attorney went so far as to claim that Caban should have known what he was getting himself into by letting an intoxicated man into his vehicle. The nature of this argument is distasteful on its face, but it also asks that victims of assault be able to predict their victimization before it happens — something that might not actually fly in court.
— Gisela Margarita (@GiselaPerezTV) November 5, 2015
What do you think of the Benjamin Golden case? Do you believe he has a solid argument against the former Uber driver who videotaped him? Share your opinion in the comment section below!
[Image via screen grab from red rojo]