SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– A Springfield plastic surgeon has been charged with assault after police said they had assaulted their Uber driver.
According to a probable cause statement, Bharat Shah, 56, had called police reporting that their Uber driver was refusing to stop and was hitting him. “He also stated to dispatch that he was going to kill the driver,” the probable cause statement reads.
Shah said to police he had put his arm around his driver’s neck because he thought the driver wouldn’t take him home, saying that the driver had told him he was “never going to make it to where he was going,” and that the driver’s behavior was “not normal behavior,” according to the PC statement.
The Uber driver is deaf and mostly non-verbal. The driver told authorities he was taking Shah home from a bar downtown when Shah wrapped his arm around his neck and began choking him. The driver said he momentarily lost consciousness but was able to stop the vehicle and get out of the vehicle.
According to the PC statement, two witnesses observed Shah put his arms around the driver’s neck, one witness saying it appeared the driver was gasping and struggling to breathe. The PC statement also said Shah was visibly intoxicated at the time of the arrest.
Shah is being charged with third-degree felony assault.
Shah’s defense attorney’s office Wampler & Passanise said in a press release that this was an “unfortunate incident” and that Shah is “truly embarrassed and humbled by the attention that has been brought to him and his family.”
Shah is the owner of Shah Plastic Surgery and has been in practice in Springfield since 1996, according to their website. No trial dates for this case have been set.