Not to boast but on this day, April 19, 2022, I, Nicole Lafond, was awarded the ride-sharing apps’ most coveted distinction for a passenger: I am now a 5-star rider.
My robot cab app of choice, Lyft, sent me an email just this afternoon to inform me that a “badge” had been added to my profile. Apparently enough drivers have given me five-star ratings in a row that I now deserve this flashy honor:
I have no idea if it means anything or if it matters in any way, shape or form beyond the fact that I know how to act like a normal human being while sitting in the back of someone else’s car (and maybe I’ll get picked up more quickly now?).
But not all of us can say the same, apparently.
A defendant in one of the government’s newest Jan. 6 insurrection-related cases apparently hopped into an Uber after allegedly storming the Capitol sporting a freshly bloody eye socket and bragged to the driver about breaking into the Capitol building. And the driver caught the entire confession on tape, according to this court filing unsealed today.
The Uber driver allegedly started up a conversations with the man, who we now know to be Jerry Braun, who, according to the government’s statement of facts, got into the vehicle about an hour after the curfew Washington, D.C.’s mayor invoked on the day of the attack. In photos included in the recently unsealed records, a man alleged to be Braun is seen holding a tissue of some sort over his eye, which appears to be bleeding.
The photos were screenshots of the Uber driver’s dashcam footage, a popular feature, I’ve noticed, among ride-sharing drivers, perhaps in response to an uptick in assault allegations against drivers and passengers in recent years.
According to the court records, the could-be-scripted sounding convo unfolded like this:
“So, has it been violent all day?” the driver asked.
“Well, it started around, right when I got there. I tore down the barricades,” the man said.
“You did?” the driver said. “Why?”
“Well, because, so we could get to the Capitol,” he replied.
“Well, how’d that work out for ya?” the driver asked.
“Well,” he said, “it looks like, uh, Biden’s gonna be our president.”
The driver then turned over the footage to the feds, which is part of what led to his arrest earlier this month, according to the government’s filing. Braun is facing federal charges for obstruction during civil disorder, entering and remaining on restricted grounds, and violent or disorderly conduct.
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