'Who are they gonna believe, you or me?': Texas prosecutor fired after drunken Uber tirade
In what is probably Exhibit A for a one-star passenger rating, a Dallas assistant district attorney was fired after she drunkenly insulted and threatened an Uber driver, then said police officers the driver summoned would believe her side of the story and "[expletive] you up."
In a flash, Jody Warner's intoxicated tirade — recorded by the driver and shared widely — made the Dallas prosecutor the latest example of someone with a very public job who was suddenly humbled after demeaning a blue-collar worker.
Warner had worked for the Dallas County district attorney's office for the past six years as a prosecutor in the crimes against children unit.
On Friday night, she was also an intoxicated fare who summoned an Uber for a ride home from a Dallas pub.
Shaun Platt, the 26-year-old driver who showed up, told ABC News that the ride soured after Warner told him to quit using GPS to get her home and to follow her directions instead — then abruptly stopped giving them.
They argued back and forth, he said, and he had enough when she started calling him names, including "retard." He stopped the car, ended the ride on the app and told her she needed to get out.
She refused — repeatedly and belligerently.
"She kept saying she's an assistant DA and said, 'Who are they gonna believe you or me?' And I said, 'You know what, you're kind of right,' " Platt told ABC News. "So I took out my phone and I recorded it."
What followed was an exchange that would elicit a knowing nod from any Uber driver who's sworn off working Friday nights: Platt: "I'm asking you politely, ma'am, please step out of the vehicle."
Warner: "No, because I'm pissed the [expletive] off. Either drop me off at my house or we'll wait for the cops because I'm not wrong."
Platt: "I'm waiting for the cops."
Warner: "Then we'll wait for the cops. Jesus Christ, you're a [expletive] idiot in a stupid [expletive] hat. What a joke. Jesus Christ. I'll make sure Uber knows what a [expletive] joke you are.
Warner: "And I want to go home so badly, but you're so stupid. I want the cops to come so that they can [expletive] you up. That's what I want. Like you're such an idiot, I want the cops to come."
Platt: "Ma'am, please."
Warner: (Mocking) "No ma'am please. Dude, everything's being recorded. I'm an assistant district attorney so shut the [expletive] up.
Warner: "So under the law, it's recklessly keeping me from where I was going, and you have done that. You're kidnapping me. You're committing a third- to first-degree felony."
Former Dallas County assistant district attorney Jody Warner, who was fired after an argument with an Uber driver, said this morning: 'I embarrassed my family and I embarrassed myself. That's not who I am.' https://t.co/fjN1p3zSjT— CBSDFW (@CBSDFW) November 14, 2017
Platt, who also claims that Warner struck him at some point, ultimately gave the recording to the Dallas Morning News, which published it online.
Uber encourages riders and drivers to call police or 911 if they feel unsafe or find themselves in an uncomfortable situation, as outlined in the company's driver safety tips. Drivers and passengers may end a trip at any time along the route and reach out to 24-hour customer support.
After police arrived, Platt said he declined to press charges.
On Monday, Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson, announced on Facebook that she had "decided to terminate" Warner.
"Although criminal charges have not been filed, her behavior is contrary to this office's core principle of integrity, and it will not be tolerated," the statement said. "As public servants, we represent the people of Dallas County and are examples of justice, professionalism, and ethical behavior both inside and outside of the courtroom."
Warner held a tearful news conference where she apologized on Tuesday. She told reporters she felt uncomfortable when Platt went a different way than she was used to and went into "fight or flight mode."
"I'm very sorry for the language I used. I'm not proud of it," she said, occasionally wiping away tears. "I appreciate being given the opportunity to give my side. I'm not trying to make any accusations against that driver. I don't know what's in his heart. I can tell you that not everything he said was true. I never touched him."
She added, "I'm not ever going to justify anything that I said. There's just a little bit more to it, and I was wrong."
The 32-year-old joins the list of prominent people who got a public comeuppance after berating people with less-esteemed jobs. The great equalizer appears to be nearly ubiquitous cellphones and other technology that can quickly capture and spread the ugliest moments of people with highly polished public images.