A Taco Bell executive has lost his job with the fast food company after being caught on video in a violent incident with an Uber driver in California, Taco Bell told CNBC.com.
Benjamin Golden, who led Taco Bell's mobile commerce and innovation initiatives, according to an online bio, lost his position at the company after a video posted by the Uber driver went viral.
"Given the behavior of the individual, it is clear he can no longer work for us," Taco Bell said in a statement emailed to CNBC. "We have also offered and encouraged him to seek professional help."
CNBC reached out via email and phone to the 32-year-old Golden, but received no response. His LinkedIn account was no longer available, and his Twitter link was blocked from public sight.
According to his bio, Golden was a "seven-year veteran of Yum Brands," the parent company of Taco Bell. Golden was also described in the bio as "a southerner who enjoys mint juleps and horse racing."
In the video, a man police identified as Golden is taking an Uber ride from driver Edward Caban in Coast Mesa, California, on Friday.
The dashcam video posted by Caban on YouTube shows the driver repeatedly asking for directions from Golden, who appears intoxicated and seems unable to provide clear instructions on where they should be going.Caban, 23, eventually flips the dashcam recorder around to face the back seat. As he takes a turn with his car, Golden can be seen toppling onto his side.
"You're too drunk to give me directions," Caban can be heard on the video saying after pulling the car over. "'I'm, kicking you out, man."
After arguing with Caban, Golden opens the door of the car but then abruptly leans forward saying, "Let me tell you something, you little [expletive]."
The confrontation then becomes violent until Caban puts an end to it by turning, pepper spray in hand, and appearing to blast it into Golden's face.
Golden then gets out of the car, with Caban in close pursuit, yelling "Call the police!"
Costa Mesa Police told NBC4 in Los Angeles that Golden was vomiting from the pepper spray when they arrived at the scene. He was arrested and charged with assault and public intoxication, NBC4 reported.