DOCUMENT: Florida, Crime

Uber Driver Walloped Over Mask Demand

Man arrested for attack on 68-year-old victim

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Uber Mask Attack

OCTOBER 28--An Uber driver was assaulted by a passenger who was told that he would have to wear a mask if he wanted to ride in the victim’s vehicle, Florida cops say.

According to an arrest affidavit, Christopher Vacha, 30, yesterday summoned an Uber around 4:30 AM to a waterfront apartment complex in Treasure Island. When the car arrived, driver Raymond Jackson, 68, told Vacha “he had to wear a mask or he could not ride.”

Vacha, investigators allege, then “blew into [Jackson’s] face through driver window.”

When Jackson exited his car, Vacha punched him in the face, the affidavit charges.

Pictured at right, Vacha was arrested for aggravated battery on a person aged 65 or older, a felony. He was also charged with resisting for allegedly ignoring police orders to place his hands behind his back.

Vacha is locked up in the Pinellas County jail on $50,000 bond on the battery count. A judge has ordered him to have no contact with Jackson.

Vacha’s rap sheet includes convictions for driving under the influence, theft, reckless driving, and resisting an officer with violence. Arrest records list Vacha’s employer as a Treasure Island restaurant, while a web site indicates that he is also affiliated with an aerial photography firm specializing in drone images. (1 page)