Local News

Fayetteville Uber driver suffered brain damage in February assault

Posted May 19

— A Fayetteville Uber driver says a Fort Bragg soldier severely beat him, and now he has permanent brain damage.

Vernon Williams called being an Uber driver his "little side hustle.” He'd been driving his Ford Flex, which holds six passengers, for about a year without incident.

That changed Feb. 5 when he got an Uber call from the Huske Hardware restaurant in downtown Fayetteville.

"When I got there, two young ladies came to the car, and they got in, so I was backing out," he said.

The women told Williams to wait because six more people were in their party.

He said that, when he told the group he could take only six, 23-year-old Joseph Sime started using profanity and racial slurs. Williams said Sime demanded that he take all of them, and when he refused and got out of his car, Sime began to attack him.

"Next thing I know, I get hit from the right side, on the right side of my head," Williams said.

He was in the hospital for 13 days. Since the attack, Williams hasn't been able to work. His wife says the whole ordeal has been emotionally and financially devastating.

"He's getting this, this 60 percent of disability now, but our bills are still 100 percent. It's really affected us a great deal," said Fran Williams.

Sime was originally charged with a misdemeanor assault charge. On Monday, the charge was upgraded to felony assault.

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