Off-duty Boston police officer charged with attack on Uber driver

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 05, 2015 4:57 PM

BOSTON (Reuters) - An off-duty Boston police officer was charged on Monday with attacking the driver of an Uber car he had hired in the early hours of Sunday morning, after a dispute about the route, prosecutors said.

The officer, 40-year-old Michael Doherty, was accused of assault and battery, as well as violating the driver's civil rights because he used a racial slur against the driver, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Doherty, who has been placed on paid administrative leave by the Boston Police Department as a result of the incident, was released on $500 bail and ordered to stay away from the driver and not to use the popular ride-booking service.

Prosecutors contend that at about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday Doherty argued with the driver, hitting him and then chasing him around his Toyota Prius before jumping into it and driving away after a passerby tried to come to the Uber driver's aid.

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Doherty's attorney, who told local media that his client strongly disputes the county's account of the incident, did not immediately respond for a request for comment on Monday.

South Boston Municipal Court Judge Michael Bolden ordered that the driver's name not be released to protect his safety.

Doherty is a 16-year veteran of the Boston Police Department.

(Reporting by Scott Malone)