'At risk': Springs Uber drivers on edge after attack on fellow driver

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Some Colorado Springs-area Uber drivers say they are on edge after one of their own was attacked on the job.

"It's terrifying. It can happen to any one of us at any time."

Holly Mayhall says Uber drivers are vulnerable to crime while they're working.

"We drive all night long when everyone is supposed to be sleeping. ... We are not allowed to have weapons. We are not allowed to protect ourselves, so to speak, with any kind of weapon.

" ... We are at risk."

A point driven home Monday morning when a female Uber driver was assaulted and carjacked by a customer who had ordered a ride.

"For something like this to happen to one of us who are just trying to make a living and we are just trying to do the right thing, it's terrifying, especially as a female.

" ... I was upset about it, of course, but I was not surprised. I was not surprised at all."

Police have released limited information in the case, citing the sensitive nature of the investigation, and have only confirmed the make and model of the stolen vehicle, a white 2011 Chevrolet Cruze with Colorado handicap plates OKL714. Officers initially told 11 News the incident was reported on the 500 block of Cache La Poudre Street, but said Tuesday it happened a block away on Dale Street. The driver was transported to the hospital with unknown injuries, and CSPD's Special Victims Section is investigating.

"I don't want to put myself in those shoes, but as a female driver I do, I do worry about it," Mayhall said.

Though they can't carry weapons, Mayhall says most drivers do have cameras. She showed 11 News how hers works.

"It sits there and they can see the little red dot, so the customer sees it and they know that they are being recorded. When they get into our vehicle, they are being recorded."

Just last week, Uber launched an in-app emergency button for drivers, giving 911 the driver's location when calling for help.

Mayhall said 90 percent of her riders are great, but with the small amount who do make her nervous, it's important to be aware of her surroundings.

"I've only been scared a couple of times -- nervous, I should say, a couple of times. ... Our best defense is our gut. If something doesn't feel right, lock those doors up and go."

At the end of the day, Mayhall says Monday's assault won't stop her from driving.

"At the end of the day, I still have bills to pay."