Uber driver arrested for refusing ride to blind man with service dog

ORLANDO, FL -- An Uber driver in Orlando was arrested for allegedly refusing to provide a ride to a blind man from Los Angeles and his service dog, and allegedly hitting the man with his vehicle as he tried to drive off, officials said.

The incident happened on July 4 at a Bahama Breeze restaurant in Orlando.

Police say the blind man, identified as Robert Stigile of Woodland Hills, Calif., was with a group of people, including other blind people with service animals, and had ordered a van from Uber.

When the driver, identified as 60-year-old Simon Pierre Andre Nau, arrived, he told Stigile he doesn't take dogs.

Stigile argued with the driver, telling him the dogs were service animals and he was required by law to take them, he later told a sheriff's deputy.

Stigile's yellow lab showed indications of being a guide dog, including wearing a walking handle, the deputy noted in his report.

Nau continued to refuse and started to drive off with Stigile still in the open door frame, according to the sheriff's report. The car door frame hit Stigile, he later told a deputy, and he started to yell at the driver, who then stopped.

Stigile then had the restaurant valet call the Orange County Sheriff's Office to file a complaint.

A deputy said Nau laughed about the incident when interviewed and apparently did not understand he had broken the law.

Nau, a Kissimmee, Fla. resident, was arrested on two misdemeanors - failure to transport a blind person with a service dog and battery.
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