A private-hire Bolt driver faced an onslaught of racist abuse after he refused to drive a maskless woman who then got out and kicked his car.
London Bolt driver Muhammad Usman, 37, was called ‘a f***ing P**i’ multiple times by an irate passenger as she demanded he took her to her destination or refunded her money.
Video footage has emerged of the incident with Mr Usman asking the passenger to leave his car because it is mandatory for his passengers to wear face masks due to the risk of Covid-19.
His wife was also four months pregnant with their first child – and he told MailOnline that he ‘didn’t want to risk catching Covid’ when he had to return home to her.
General Secretary James Farrar at App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) said: ‘Licensed private hire drivers are fed up with putting up with physical and racist abuse while the Police, Transport for London and operators like Uber and Bolt do nothing.
‘The police and TfL have consistently refused to work with our union to tackle these issues and TfL even sabotaged our efforts to work with the police to improve safeguarding of ourselves and the travelling public.
‘Indeed, rather than prosecute abusers, the Met police have instead mounted a failed political attack on our union by bringing vexatious charges that the police themselves were assaulted at one of our trade union demos by way of megaphone sound.’
Mr Usman, who himself had a mask on and was driving for the company Bolt, claims the woman refused to wear a mask because she ‘didn’t have one’.
He told the woman he would therefore have to cancel the ride, to which she starts to become irate, because she believes she will be charged for the journey.
The Bolt driver reminded her to say she will just have to contact the company, Bolt, to request a refund – but she continued to demand he drove her to the requested destination.
The video was filmed at around 8.30pm on June 26, 2021.
This was just minutes after Mr Usman, who lives in Redbridge, had picked the woman up from Stratford tube station, to travel to her home in the E3 postcode area.
At the time, national Covid-19 cases were upwards of 20,000 a day and wearing face masks was compulsory.
Muhammad, 37, was called a ‘f***ing P**i’ multiple times by this irate passenger who then continued to kick his car after she eventually left the vehicle
It’s only now that Mr Usman is releasing the footage after police told him that they were closing the case.
He reported the abuse he received from the passenger to Ilford Police Station a couple of days after the incident and gave all the details to find the woman.
The 37-year-old Bolt driver said the police contacted him once in August before calling to say they closed the case a few days ago as they couldn’t track down the woman.
Mr Usman told MailOnline: ‘They could have easily taken the details off of Bolt for whoever has booked it. Every company has got their own details with a name, address, everything, so how come they haven’t properly investigated that?
‘That’s why we took matters into our hands.
‘It’s impossible for Bolt and police to not be able to track her down, these apps need every detail of a person to even book a ride.
‘They knew that each trip is recorded, neither bolt or the police have done anything. That’s what forced us to put it on social media. We were let down badly by bolt and the police.’
Mr Usman also reported the incident to his employers, Bolt, to which he says they responded with a generic ‘apology email’ which said they were ‘sorry he had to experience this’.
Mr Usman decided to share the video on social media to try and track down the woman after the Met Police closed the case as they said they ‘couldn’t track her down’, but the driver said: ‘It would be just one phone call for Bolt to be obliged to give them the information,’
He said: ‘It has been more than four months since then and Bolt didn’t bother to get back to me.’
In the video, Mr Usman can be heard saying: ‘You can text the company and they will refund you the money. You haven’t paid me anything.’
The unknown passenger demands to know which company she should text for the refund.
Mr Usman, who is from Pakistan and has lived in London for 17 years, says to the woman: ‘Call whoever booked the taxi.’
Mr Usman works for taxi app company Bolt, who only responded to his report once with a ‘generic apology’ email, saying they were ‘sorry he had to experience this’
The angry passenger then can be heard saying: ‘You f***ing idiot, suck your stinking mother, you stupid p**i bruv, f***ing silly P***.’
Mr Usman continued: ‘Her tone was aggressive, it was due to her attitude. We had one or two conversations about the mask, the way she was approaching the situation forced me to start recording it.
‘In my mind, I was a single guy in the car, my thinking was that the girl can step out and say, “The guy has looked at me this way” and make something up.
‘It was to protect myself because it’s easy for her to just lie because she was so angry, and then Bolt deactivate my account for 10 days…
‘This happens to so many drivers ever day, and I can’t afford to do that, it’s my only job. I wasn’t expecting it to get to this point, but this is my livelihood, I have bills to pay.
‘After giving them all the details with the video and the information that Bolt has it would be just one phone call for Bolt to be obliged to give them the information apparently according to my knowledge.’
Mr Usman said he initially did not want to share the video on social media because the woman was fairly young.
‘My friend said earlier on that we should put it on social media but I said ‘No let the police deal with that’ because she was a young kid, 20 something years, I don’t want to go through that, let the police handle it,’ Mr Usman continued.
‘But nothing came out, so it’s left us with no choice but to come to the stage that we have to get social media help.’
A Bolt spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of this case. Bolt fully cooperated with the police during their investigation in June and provided the details of the passenger involved.
‘Bolt is firmly opposed to discrimination of any kind so has taken appropriate action. Positive and negative feedback from drivers and passengers makes the Bolt platform safer so we encourage everyone to continue to contact us.’
The Metropolitan Police have been contacted for comment.