BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4)
– A Breckenridge tourist is under investigation for harassment following two separate incidents. The first one was caught on the dashcam of an Uber driver.
“I decided then that I’d had enough. I think the trip lasted 3 minutes and 30 something seconds,” said Michael McManus.
On Monday, McManus picked up Florida resident Yossi Sokol, 35, and his wife for a dinner reservation in Breckenridge. Neither was wearing a mask. In the dash cam recording, you can hear McManus ask the couple to put their masks on. Sokol’s wife complies, but Sokol hesitates.
“You afraid of corona?” he asks McManus.
“No, they fine me,” McManus explained.
Sokol continued to question the policy, while reluctantly putting on his mask.
“Come on. If it’s for you, I respect it. If it’s for police, I put it on when they pull you over,” he told McManus.
McManus decided to end the ride, which upset Sokol further. His wife tried to hold him back, but Sokol leaned forward and gave McManus a whack to the shoulder.
“My first instinct was to call 911 on the connect system on the phone through the car where he could hear the 911 operator,” McManus continued, “That didn’t seem to work too well… “
Sokol can be heard threatening to beat McManus and screaming at him to pull the car over.
“…and let him out in the middle of the highway, which I wasn’t going to do.”
Eventually the couple got out of the car without further incident, but Sokol was greeted by police at his hotel room and issued a summons to appear in Breckenridge municipal court for harassment.
McManus says he understands everyone’s frustrations with the pandemic but believes this incident went too far.
“It could have gone south really bad,” said McManus. “Everybody’s tired of it [COVID], but we’re all in the same boat in it together and there’s a lot of hate out there and it’s not getting any better.”
According to the initial police report, the responding officer said, “Yossi told me Michael was completely overreacting and said driver was a ‘democratic nuthead who maybe is just a mental patient.’”
The following day, Breckenridge police responded to the Ranahan Hotel, where Yossi was issued a second summons for harassment, for allegedly touching a staff member.
CBS4 reached out to Uber, which issued the following statement: “When we say ‘No Mask. No Ride’ we mean it. After this incident was reported to us, the rider’s access to the Uber app was removed.”
*By Jamie Leary, Denver CBS4*