Uber driver faces felony aggravated assault charges

Every Uber driver has a decal on their window with the logo.
Every Uber driver has a decal on their window with the logo. CDT file

A Uber driver faces felony aggravated assault charges after allegedly attempting to flee police early Sunday.

According to the criminal complaint filed by Penn State police, Frederick Becker, 41, of Boalsburg, picked up a fare at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday at the RV lot at University Park. He attempted to head southbound on Orchard Road to get back to campus, but was told by an auxiliary officer that traffic was outbound and he would not be allowed to go in that direction.

Becker became upset and accelerated away from the officer, entering lot 20 at a high rate of speed, police said. An officer in uniform approached the vehicle and ordered him to stop. He was driving a Dodge Van Caravan.

Becker allegedly continued to drive forward, police said, despite the officer’s orders. When the officer attempted to reach into the driver’s window to turn off the vehicle, Becker allegedly rapidly accelerated toward Orchard Road, dragging the officer about 20 feet along the side of the vehicle and nearly striking two auxiliary officers.

Officers stopped Becker along Fox Hollow Road and took him into custody, police said. The officer who attempted to stop Becker in lot 20 was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for injuries to his hip and lower back.

Officers interviewed the passenger in Becker’s vehicle at about 1 a.m., police said. The witness reported, “I was very nervous and didn’t think I was going to get home safely.”

Becker was interviewed at about 1:30 a.m., police said, and allegedly admitted to not complying with officers directions to follow the flow of traffic.

“I did not realize I was dealing with a police officer,” Becker allegedly told police, “and did not recognize the officer had authority.”

Becker was arraigned before District Judge Allen Sinclair, according to court documents, and charged with a felony count of aggravated assault and misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct. Bail was set at $10,000.

A preliminary hearing is slated for Nov. 16.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews