Police: Uber driver beaten unconscious by passenger

Nassau Police say they arrested a 23-year-old man after beating his Uber driver, rendering the driver unconscious in Bellmore.

Nassau Police say they arrested a 23-year-old man after beating his Uber driver, rendering the driver unconscious in Bellmore. (2/20/17)

BELLMORE - A North Bellmore man is accused of beating an Uber driver unconscious following an argument.

Police say the attack happened at 1:15 a.m. Sunday, shortly after the driver picked up Phillip Gannotta, 23, and his friends in Massapequa Park.

According to investigators, the ride turned violent on Bedford Avenue by Sunrise Highway. They say Gannotta and the driver got into an argument over the Uber agreement, and Gannotta allegedly smashed the rear passenger-side window.

Police say Gannotta then struck the 23-year-old driver several times in the face with a flashlight and kicked him in the head, knocking him unconscious.

Court documents indicate that the victim suffered a fractured eye socket, temporary loss of vision and facial swelling.

At Gannotta's arraignment Monday, defense attorney George Caso said the Uber driver started the incident when he drove over Gannotta's foot with the car, but he declined to comment further outside the courtroom.

Gannotta is charged with two counts of second-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and third-degree criminal mischief.

He and his mother quickly left court without comment after he was released on $5,000 bail.

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