NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The man suspected of brutally attacking a Lyft driver in Queens surrendered to police Thursday morning.
George Catalano, 36, turned himself in at the 114th Precinct. He’s charged with assault and reckless endangerment.
He’s awaiting arraignment.
It began as a regular ride. But things turned violent after about 10 minutes.
The footage shows the Lyft driver, 36-year-old Eduardo Madiedo, driving a passenger in Woodside last Thursday at around 6 p.m. He said the man was moaning in pain and resting in the back seat on their way to Mount Sinai Hospital.
Catalano then allegedly started giving prompts for when and where to change lanes while using profanity, which prompts Madiedo to say, “Excuse me, man, if you’re gonna be disrespectful I’ll just pull over right now.”
Before Madiedo even had a chance to pull over, the video shows him getting pummeled behind the wheel, punched repeatedly while still driving. He loses his glasses as he continues to drive, yet somehow is able to keep control of the car until he pulls over.
The suspect ran off and Madiedo called police.
Madiedo spoke to CBS2’s Reena Roy about the ordeal on Tuesday.
“He started hitting me in the back of head, full force here and then like on the top,” Madiedo said. “I was definitely afraid of crashing the car, especially without my glasses.”
“What was going on through your mind when this was happening?” asked CBS2’s Reena Roy.
“Basically, I was scared for my life. It was just a surreal moment where you’re living outside of your body and I just wanted it over with.”
As Madiedo was finally able to pull over, the suspect went for another punch through the window.
“It happened so all of a sudden. This could happen to anyone,” Madiedo said. “It was just once comment that set him off.”
Uber has permanently banned the Catalano.