BOSTON (CBS) — An Uber driver took the stand in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday to describe a late night run-in he had with a Boston police officer who he claims assaulted him and stole his vehicle.
Michael Doherty, a 16 year veteran of the force, faces three counts of assault and battery and a civil rights violation.
Luis Blanco claimed Doherty was intoxicated on January 4, 2015, when he picked him up along with a friend who was dropped off in Charlestown, while Doherty was driven to South Boston.
When the address turned out to be wrong, he said Doherty lashed out not physically and yelled a racial epithet. “He grabbed onto my seat, pulled himself forward and began to say ‘you think I’m an idiot, I’ll kill you,'” Blanco testified.
In court, pictures were shown of the facial and bodily injuries Blanco suffered in the altercation. He said he was able to break free, get out of his Toyota Prius and call 911. That’s when he said Doherty took off in the car. Blanco caught up with Doherty thanks to another Uber driver Guillano Verna who stopped to help.
Blanco said when Doherty screamed a racial slur at him that was when he’d had enough. “I threw a punch and we landed on the ground and started wrestling, it was a scuffle.” He said Doherty ran away but police later caught up with him.
The defense is trying to portray the Uber driver as the aggressor in the fight. Doherty is currently suspended without pay from the force.