A UCLA wide receiver was sued this week by an Uber driver, who said the athlete choked him and took his cellphone last summer in a drunken rage.
Cuong Quoc Tudo, who lives in Orange County, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against 22-year-old Ishmael Adams, seeking unspecified damages on allegations of assault and battery, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
A representative of UCLA—which is not a defendant in the suit—could not be immediately reached for possible comment on Adams’ behalf.
The suit alleges that Adams “viciously attacked” Tudo last Aug. 30, 2015, causing him “significant physical and emotional injuries.”
Tudo says he had only been working for the Uber ride-hailing service for three days when he responded to a call and picked up Adams from a home in Holmby Hills. The athlete was drunk after drinking “mass quantities of Hennessey (cognac) among other alcoholic beverages,” the suit says.
The plaintiff claims Adams became so belligerent during the ride that Tudo “politely” asked him to leave the car. Adams did so and appeared to be walking away, but returned and started to choke Tudo, according to the complaint.
“He (Adams) squeezed it (my neck) until I couldn’t breathe … He squeezed it, like really hard. I think I was gonna die, then I just dropped everything,” Tudo told UCLA police later, according to his court papers. “My life was threatened if I didn’t do whatever he told me, he’s gonna choke me to death. Whatever he told me to do, I did.”
After Tudo dropped his cellphone, Adams reached for it and the charging cord and began walking away, the suit says. Tudo says he used a second cellphone to call 911.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Adams pleaded no contest in May to misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to 20 days of community labor, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and psychological counseling.
Adams, who’s from Woodland Hills, also was placed on 36 months probation.
Adams was a defensive back and kick returner in his first three seasons with the Bruins, shifting to wide receiver in the spring.