‘Who are they gonna be­lieve you or me?’


Montreal Gazette - - NEWS - CLEVE R. WOOTSON JR.

In what is prob­a­bly Ex­hibit A for a one-star pas­sen­ger rat­ing, a Dal­las as­sis­tant district at­tor­ney was fired af­ter she drunk­enly in­sulted and threat­ened an Uber driver, then said po­lice of­fi­cers the driver sum­moned would be­lieve her side of the story and “f--- you up.”

In a flash, Jody Warner’s in­tox­i­cated tirade — recorded by the driver and shared widely — made the Dal­las pros­e­cu­tor the lat­est ex­am­ple of some­one with a very pub­lic job who was sud­denly hum­bled af­ter de­mean­ing a blue-col­lar worker.

Warner had worked for the Dal­las County district at­tor­ney’s of­fice for the past six years as a pros­e­cu­tor in the crimes against chil­dren unit.

On Fri­day night, she was also an in­tox­i­cated fare who sum­moned an Uber for a ride home from a Dal­las pub.

Shaun Platt, the 26-yearold driver who showed up, told ABC News that the ride soured af­ter Warner told him to quit us­ing GPS to get her home and to fol­low her di­rec­tions in­stead — then abruptly stopped giv­ing them.

They ar­gued back and forth, he said, and he had enough when she started call­ing him names, in­clud­ing “re­tard.” He stopped the car, ended the ride on the app and told her she needed to get out.

She re­fused — re­peat­edly and bel­liger­ently.

“She kept say­ing she’s an as­sis­tant DA and said, ‘Who are they gonna be­lieve you or me?’ And I said, ‘You know what, you’re kind of right,’ ” Platt told ABC News. “So I took out my phone and I recorded it.”

What fol­lowed was an ex­change that would elicit a know­ing nod from any Uber driver who’s sworn off work­ing Fri­day nights:

Platt: “I’m ask­ing you po­litely, ma’am, please step out of the ve­hi­cle.”

Warner: “No, be­cause I’m pissed the f--- off. Ei­ther drop me off at my house or we’ll wait for the cops be­cause I’m not wrong.”

Platt: “I’m wait­ing for the cops.”

Warner: “Then we’ll wait for the cops. Je­sus Christ, you’re a f------ idiot in a stupid f------ hat. What a joke. Je­sus Christ. I’ll make sure Uber knows what a f-----joke you are.

Warner: “And I want to go home so badly, but you’re so stupid. I want the cops to come so that they can f--- you up. That’s what I want. Like you’re such an idiot, I want the cops to come.”

Platt: “Ma’am, please.” Warner: (Mock­ing) “No ma’am please. Dude, ev­ery­thing’s be­ing recorded. I’m an as­sis­tant district at­tor­ney so shut the f--- up.

Warner: “So un­der the law, it’s reck­lessly keep­ing me from where I was go­ing, and you have done that. You’re kid­nap­ping me. You’re com­mit­ting a third- to first­de­gree felony.”

Platt, who also claims that Warner struck him at some point, ul­ti­mately gave the record­ing to the Dal­las Morn­ing News, which pub­lished it on­line.

Nei­ther Platt nor Warner could be reached for com­ment on Tues­day.

On Mon­day, Dal­las County District At­tor­ney Faith John­son, an­nounced on Face­book that she had “de­cided to ter­mi­nate” Warner.

“Al­though crim­i­nal charges have not been filed, her be­hav­iour is con­trary to this of­fice’s core prin­ci­ple of in­tegrity, and it will not be tol­er­ated,” the state­ment said. “As pub­lic ser­vants, we rep­re­sent the peo­ple of Dal­las County and are ex­am­ples of jus­tice, pro­fes­sion­al­ism, and eth­i­cal be­hav­iour both inside and out­side of the court­room.”

Warner held a tear­ful news con­fer­ence where she apol­o­gized on Tues­day. She told re­porters she felt un­com­fort­able when Platt went a dif­fer­ent way than she was used to and went into “fight or flight mode.”

“I’m very sorry for the lan­guage I used. I’m not proud of it,” she said, oc­ca­sion­ally wip­ing away tears. “I ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing given the op­por­tu­nity to give my side. I’m not try­ing to make any ac­cu­sa­tions against that driver. I don’t know what’s in his heart. I can tell you that not ev­ery­thing he said was true. I never touched him.”

She added, “I’m not ever go­ing to jus­tify any­thing that I said. There’s just a lit­tle bit more to it, and I was wrong.”

The 32-year-old joins the list of prom­i­nent peo­ple who got a pub­lic come­up­pance af­ter be­rat­ing peo­ple with less-es­teemed jobs. The great equal­izer ap­pears to be nearly ubiq­ui­tous cell­phones and other tech­nol­ogy that can quickly cap­ture and spread the ugli­est mo­ments of peo­ple with highly pol­ished pub­lic images.

This sum­mer, for ex­am­ple, 28-year-old Philadel­phia news­caster Colleen Camp­bell was ar­rested af­ter pro­fanely at­tack­ing what ap­pears to be the world’s most pa­tient po­lice of­fi­cer af­ter the jour­nal­ist was kicked out of a com­edy club, ac­cord­ing to the Philadel­phia Inquirer.

The in­ci­dent was cap­tured on cell­phone cam­era. In the video, Camp­bell spews a re­lent­less, two-minute stream of pro­fan­ity and in­sults. Af­ter­ward, the of­fi­cer hand­cuffs and ar­rests her af­ter she ap­pears to spit on a man­ager and at­tempts to shove her shoe in his face.

“I work at a f------ news sta­tion, moth­erf-----. I work at PHL 17!” Camp­bell yells. “I’m not a f------ hood rat.”

Af­ter Camp­bell was fired, ESPN re­porter Britt McHenry came to her aid with all the em­pa­thy of some­one who was pub­licly em­bar­rassed af­ter a sim­i­lar pot­ty­mouthed episode.

McHenry was ap­par­ently up­set at a clerk while re­cov­er­ing her towed ve­hi­cle in Ar­ling­ton, Va. She spewed in­sults, even af­ter the clerk said the in­ter­ac­tion was be­ing recorded.

“I’m in the news, sweet­heart, and I will f------ sue this place,” McHenry said, be­fore call­ing the clerk a col­lege dropout and in­sult­ing her ap­pear­ance.

“Why, be­cause I have a brain and you don’t? Maybe if I was miss­ing some teeth, they would hire me, huh? Cause I’m on tele­vi­sion and you’re in a f------ trailer. Lose some weight, baby girl.”



The pro­lif­er­a­tion of the smart­phone has al­lowed some of the ugli­est mo­ments of prom­i­nent peo­ple to be ex­posed.

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