Man Charged With Beating Uber Driver With Wrench After Being Picked up in South L.A.

A 26-year-old man has been charged after an Uber driver came forward with claims that he was brutally attacked and robbed after picking up a passenger in Historic South-Central Los Angeles, officials said Wednesday.

Uber driver Alex Bermudez after he was attacked by a passenger in his car on Jan. 5, 2018. (Courtesy Alex Bermudez)

Uber driver Alex Bermudez after he was attacked by a passenger in his car on Jan. 5, 2018. (Courtesy Alex Bermudez)

Los Angeles resident Deveon Deonteray Wilson pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to one count each of second-degree robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and carjacking, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Prosecutors are also alleging he used a wrench to beat the Uber driver, Alex Bermudez, inside his white Prius on Jan. 5.

In a Monday interview with KTLA, Bermudez said he was seriously injured in the incident and suffered a concussion, broken nose and intense pain.

“That’s all I could think about: Is this going to be the end of me? Am I just going to die here?” he recalled.

Later, he pointed out spots in his car where dried blood stained the driver’s side door and steering wheel.

The evening began as a typical Friday night, Bermudez said, until he allegedly picked up Wilson as his third passenger of the shift.

Bermudez received a request to pick up a passenger near the intersection of Broadway Place and 39th Street, DA’s officials confirmed.

Bermudez said the passenger asked him to drive a bit further down the street, saying he’d called the ride for someone else. But minutes later, the man began assaulting him.

Prosecutors say Wilson started beating him with a wrench inside the car then, after Bermudez was able to pull over and fell from the car, Wilson continued to beat him as he lay in the street.

Officials also accuse Wilson of stealing Bermudez’s car along with his wallet and cellphone. Bermudez said the assailant even demanded his debit card PIN number.

Bermudez blacked out after a final blow to the back of his head but was able to flag down a passerby after regaining consciousness, he said.

Wilson used the Prius to flee the scene and was arrested while driving it later that night, Los Angeles police previously told KTLA. L.A. County inmate records show he was arrested around 7:30 p.m. that Friday.

Wilson is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 23 for a preliminary hearing.

If convicted as charged, he could face up to 15 years and 8 months in state prison. He was being held on $150,000 bail, officials said.

Los Angeles police are continuing to investigate the case, and Uber said it is cooperating with authorities.