The unprovoked attack happened when the driver was taking the inebriated woman just a few blocks away from her home.
A 55-year-old woman has been arrested for scratching, strangling, and biting her Uber driver while he was dropping her home. Michael Hassey Jr., 22, shared videos and details of the horrifying incident that took place on April 17, during which his passenger attacked him and bit a chunk out of his neck. According to WFLA, Hassey picked up the woman at around 5 p.m. on Saturday after he responded to a ride request from Cask Social Kitchen in Tampa. "When I first pulled up to pick up the rider, a young group of women approached the car and one of them said ‘I called an Uber for my mother, can you please get her home safe?'” he said, recounting the day. Things were going swimmingly as Hassey thought it would be a smooth ride since the lady in the back seat was fast asleep.
Florida nurse, 55, chokes Uber driver from behind and then bites into his neck 'like a pitbull' in unprovoked attack https://t.co/pvy0xTcGqn— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) April 21, 2021
However, things started to go awry after the woman up and began attacking him as he was nearing her home. Though Hassey promised the daughter he would get the woman home safe, it was his safety that he had to worry about now. The woman, identified as Michele Stilwell, was asleep for the majority of the ride until the Uber driver was just a few blocks from her home in unincorporated St. Pete. The driver claimed she "sprouted up" and turned violent in a matter of seconds. "She started screaming curse words at me and slapped me in the face," Hassey said. Per the outlet, the woman began to scream "My daughter" and continue to bite, strangle, and scratch the man, while even using the words "Die", during the exchange "She sinks into my neck like a pitbull, shaking her head and stuff," Hassey said.
The driver refrained from fighting because he thought it would calm her down but when she started biting, he decided to retaliate. "I let it happen. I didn’t put my hands back on her because I have two sisters and I was raised to never put my hands on a female," Hassey said. Soon after, he decided to stop the car and break free. In the incident report filed by the police, it is being said that Stilwell was inebriated and was possibly triggered, although it is unclear what set her off. For Hassey, the day was something he would never forget in his life."It’s like reliving a horror movie," Hassey said. Now, he just wants to know why he was attacked for no apparent reason. The experience has also left him disillusioned with Uber since they haven't reached out to home despite him contacting them multiple times. “My biggest takeaway is I would stay away from Uber,” said Hassey, formerly a welder, stating that he's looking to quit the service because he considers such experiences are not worth the extra money.
Uber did respond to the incident by offering a statement, which read: "What’s been described is disturbing. Violence of any kind is not tolerated on the Uber app, and we immediately removed the rider’s access as soon as this was reported to us." Meanwhile, Stilwell, a registered nurse since 1996, has been put in jail following a booking for two felony charges including aggravated battery and tampering with a witness. She has since been released on a $15,000 bond. Despite the stink caused by the incident, Stilwell's neighbors believe the attack was out of character for her. The incident has likely cost her the job as the Department of Health doesn't have a woman by her name owing an active nursing license.