Uber driver accused of murder was involved in earlier attack
CHICAGO (FOX 32) - Thuara Tungekar lost her husband last fall after he got into an altercation with rideshare driver Fangqi Lu, who is also named as a defendant in the case.
Surveillance video shows Fangqui kicking cab driver Anis Tungekar, knocking him to the ground. Tungekar suffered several brain injuries and died two days after the attack.
"It just makes me wonder what would it actually take for a driver to be removed from Uber, in our case, Lu Fangqi had to kill a man," said the cabbie's son Raymond Tungekar, who spoke at a press conference Tuesday announcing the lawsuit.
The cab driver's widow is seeking $10 million in damages.
"Fangqi Lu did not have a valid driver's license. He had a known violent history, and he should have never been on the road," said Michael Gallagher, the family's attorney.
Also speaking for the first time, Chicago attorney Scott Gore says he was assaulted by Fangqi months before Tungekar was killed.
"In April of this year, I just happened to be reading a Sun-Times and saw an article referring to this attack. And I just saw the driver's name and I remembered the driver's name as the same driver who had attacked me," said Gore.
In July, Gore had summoned a rideshare to attend a Chicago Cubs game. The vehicle was being driven by Fangqi. When Gore asked Fangqi to take an alternate route, Fangqi became agitated, according to Gore.
"He said do you want to fight over this? And I said to him, 'if you punch me, I'm going to sue you', and the next thing I know, he floored me, he punched me with one punch to the head, one hit to the ear," said Gore.
Gore filed complaints with both Uber and Lyft, and he filed a police report.
Despite this incident, Fangqi was not removed from Uber's system.
"For the rest of our lives we'll be haunted by the fact that there were multiple ways in which, had things been different, my father's fatal attack would never had happened," said Raymond Tungekar.
Uber is not commenting on the pending litigation but did release an earlier statement about Tungekar's death.
"This is a horrible tragedy and our thoughts are with Mr. Tungekar's family and loved ones. As soon as we were made aware of this, we immediately removed this individual's access from the platform. We will fully cooperate with law enforcement and provide any information that would be helpful for their investigation."
A lawsuit involving the cab driver's family and the Cook County State's Attorney is pending. The family is suing to get information related to why Fangqi wasn't initially charged.
He was held for 48 hours and then released. He has since fled to his native China. In December, he was charged with first-degree murder.
The family's attorney says because there is no extradition agreement between China and the United States, they don't expect Fangqi to face justice.