An Uber driver accused of assaulting and stealing from a young Auckland boy denies any wrongdoing.
And he claims the boy's mother was verbally abusive and rude to him.
The driver, who spoke to the Herald on condition of anonymity, said his Uber account was blocked after a run-in with Auckland mum Anna Jobsz on Monday afternoon.
After a short-lived drive Jobsz went to police about a complaint that the driver physically assaulted her 5-year-old son and stole his tablet device. An investigation into the claims is ongoing.
Despite the driver's differing account, Jobsz said she stood by her version of events.
The driver involved told the Herald he had worked for Uber for more than three years - completing more than 7000 trips.
It was pouring with rain when he picked up Jobsz and she insisted on putting down the window, he said.
"I said sorry ma'am, it's raining can you please turn the window up," he recalled.
She replied that the car smelled, he said.
"I just put a little spray on the dashboard and she said 'oh you are putting chemicals on me and my son'."
She then became verbally abusive, he said.
"It totally shocked me. How was the conversation going from plain normal chat to abusive language?
"It was really rude because the face and the language she was using - it was not acceptable, nobody can accept it. It's not just me."
He said he told her if she continued being verbally abusive, then he could not continue the ride.
She called him an "a*****le" and asked that he showed her how to cancel the ride, he said.
After cancelling the trip she stayed in the car for some time, despite the driver telling her he needed to leave to pick up another customer, he said.
As she left she banged on the car three times, scratching it with what he believes was a set of keys in her hand, he said.
"I said 'hey ma'am what are you doing. How come you are damaging my property?'
"She then ran towards New St, her son was following her."
He adamantly denies pushing the child or taking a tablet device but confirmed he had been blocked from using Uber while the company investigates.
He was horrified when friends sent him screenshots of Jobsz's claims on social media, which he said were "false statements".
"I straight away ran to the police station. They took my video interview and everything.
"And I gave my fingerprints as well because I know that I haven't done anything wrong."
He said the claims were "very hard to understand" considering he knew the customer would have all his details in the app.
Upset by the claims, he first spoke out anonymously on Auckland's only 24-hour Hindi FM radio station – Humm 106.2 FM - in a bid to try clear the air about what happened.
Jobsz denied being verbally abusive and said she stood by her earlier comments.
"I stand by all my statements that I made to police," she said.
"My son has made his statement to police about this horrible incident and they are taking it seriously."
Jobsz claimed the driver wiped the outside of the device for fingerprints and dumped it in the street.
She was hopeful police would get to the bottom of the issue.
The Uber driver has not been able to work since Monday afternoon, and is stressed about how he is going to look after his wife and two children who are both under five.
"I don't know how I am going to feed my kids," he told the Herald.
"I don't know how I am going to pay my bills."
He said he would now look at getting a dash camera installed in his car.
Yesterday, a police spokesman confirmed the driver had come forward on his own accord and had "spoken with police to give his own version of events".
"The exact circumstances are not clear and police are currently making inquiries into the matter."
A spokesman for Uber said for the fastest response to a rider complaint, the best way to contact them was through in-app support.
"If a rider feels a driver-partner has acted inappropriately, we encourage them to reach out to us via in-app help and we will investigate the matter.
"We are committed to ensuring the Uber platform is as safe as possible for riders and driver-partners alike."
Compliments on the driver's Uber account, seen by the Herald, included "honestly such a cool driver" and "thank you so much for helping my parents".