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.
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)