Clay Aiken claims a New York City Uber driver threatened him with a baseball bat. The American Idol 2 singer tweeted Thursday night that his driver was angry because he took too long to get out of the car.
“Uber won’t take him off of the road! beware NYC,” Clay wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of the driver’s license plate.
— Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) July 28, 2016
The New York Daily News spoke with Sherzod Abdullaev, who drives and owns the car linked to the license plate> He said he doesn’t know who Clay Aiken is. But he said he had to wield the baseball bat he keeps in the car for safety when he felt threatened by a passenger he picked up from Newark Airport earlier this week.
The driver said the incident started when a rider–whom he described as a young white man with brown hair–was dumping his belongings into the Uber car while looking for a lost wallet after reaching his destination on W. 110th St. on the Upper West Side.
“I tell him, ‘Sir, don’t put here, put everything outside,” Abdullaev said. “He said, ‘F–k you,’ at me. I said, ‘Excuse me?’”
The driver then said the passenger slammed his passenger-side door “heavy — boom!”
“I go outside for my safety. I take this baseball (bat), for my safety,” Abdullaev said. “Coming around the passenger side, I said, ‘Don’t touch my door.’”
Taxi and Limousine Commission spokesman Allan Fromberg said that no complaint was filed, but that the agency sent a direct message to Aiken on Twitter asking for more information.
“We strongly encourage him to reach out to us and we stand ready to assist him through the consumer process,” Fromberg said, adding that Aiken should go to the police if he felt physically threatened.
The driver has been suspended from Uber as the company investigates the complaint, according to Uber spokeswoman Susan Hendrick. The app has also reached out to Aiken, Hendrick said.
Aiken’s publicist did not return a request for comment.
Abdullaev said he started driving with a bat after a passenger slugged him during a trip in Brooklyn.
So, there you have the story of how Clay Aiken nearly came to blows with an Uber driver in New York City…