by: Elyna Niles-Carnes, WFTV – Orlando
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida Uber driver is accused of attempting to drive away when a blind man and his service dog tried to get into the driver’s vehicle, Orange County deputies said.
Simon Pierre Andre Nau, of Kissimmee, Florida, was picking up Robert Stigile, who is blind, and his service dog from a restaurant on the Fourth of July, according to the arrest report.
Stigile said that when Nau arrived to pick him up, Nau told him, “I don’t take dogs.”
Stigile told Nau that the dog was a service animal, not a pet, and Nau said, “I don’t care,” according to the arrest report.
Stigile said he was standing in the open door frame of the vehicle and felt the car move forward, striking him. Stigle said he feared that Nau was going to drag him with the vehicle, so he began swinging and yelling at the driver to get him to stop, investigators said.
Stigile told deputies that he is 100 percent blind and his service dog is trained to help him in his daily life. The dog was wearing a walking handle and showed signs of performing a task with Stigile, investigators said.
When he was questioned by deputies at the scene, Nau began to laugh, and deputies said he didn’t fully understand that he had broken the law.
Nau is charged with battery and failing to transfer a blind man in the company of a service dog.
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