Harry Campbell on ABC’s 20/20 Talking About Uber Driver Shooting Spree

A few months back, I had the opportunity to go on ABC’s 20/20 to talk about a shooting spree by an Uber driver that happened a few years ago. It was a great chance to help to explain to a broader audience how the driver app works, and what it’s like to be a driver.

If you’re interested, check out my appearance on 20/20, and scroll below to see a transcript of the video.

Speaker 1: We all love hailing a car with an app, it’s easy, it’s convenient, but the truth is when that car shows up, you really don’t know who’s in the driver seat.

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Speaker 2: Uber driver under arrest.

Speaker 3: A driver accused of raping his passenger.

Brad Garrett: You’re stepping into a vehicle of a total stranger who could harm. Who could wreck the car. There’s an inherent vulnerability to these ridesharing programs.

911 Operator: 911.

Matt Mellen: No one needs to be riding with this crazy man and he doesn’t need to be on the road.

Harry Campbell: When an Uber passenger places that request, it gets routed to a nearby driver. As soon as they accept it, they go drive to the passenger. That passenger will actually see the picture of the driver and they can follow along on their route as they drive to pick them up.

Harry Campbell: My name is Harry Campbell and I’m the founder of The Rideshare Guy. It’s a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel for Uber and Lyft drivers.

Harry Campbell: I’ve heard a lot of stories from people out on the road, but never anything as crazy as what Jason Delta told the police.

Det. Gorham: Is Uber U-B-E-R?

Jason Dalton: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Det. Gorham: You just recently been joined up with them?

Jason Dalton: Yeah. Am I okay to talk?

Det. Gorham: Yeah.

Jason Dalton: About what happened?

Det. Gorham: Yeah.

Brad Garrett: Obviously the goal of these detectives is to get to motivation. What drove Jason Dalton to commit these crimes?

Juliet Dragos: The one thing that no one in this entire country will ever forget is a killer who says he was motivated by an Uber app.

Jason Dalton: I know that you guys are going to have a hard time believing this, but it literally took over mind and body.

Det. Moorian: The Uber app?

Jason Dalton: Yes.

Alex Perez: It made no sense to anyone that the Uber app would take over him and force him to go on this shooting spree.

Harry Campbell: This is the app as it looked in 2016 when Jason Dalton was driving for Uber.

Speaker 1: This is the driver app, right?

Harry Campbell: Yes.

Det. Cory G.: He remembers seeing the symbol of the Eastern Star and that started this whole thing.

Det. Moorian: Are you talking Eastern Star like the Masonic Eastern Star?

Jason Dalton: Yes.

Det. Moorian: Okay.

Speaker 1: Jason Dalton talks about the Eastern Star?

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Speaker 1: I mean, could this have been the Eastern Star? It’s a hexagon.

Harry Campbell: I mean it is a hexagon. I don’t know. I guess this part, I think, really looks like part of the Eastern Star.

Speaker 1: These are stars, right? I mean or they’re triangles, but-

Harry Campbell: I think it’s kind of like-

Speaker 1: … the downward part-

Harry Campbell: … one of those mind games where you see what you want to say.

Speaker 1: Right.

Jason Dalton: I really didn’t even see what the … I just tapped it and then there was like a devil head that popped up. It was some sort of horned head, like a cow head or something. I pressed that button and that’s where all the problems went after that.

Alex Perez: Unbelievable! Nobody believed him.

Speaker 1: Jason Dalton talked about seeing a devil somewhere?

Harry Campbell: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 1: You have any idea what he was talking about?

Harry Campbell: This is actually the Uber logo, at the time, on the passenger app. To me it looks like a U but I think to Jason Dalton it may have been devil horns right here at the top.

Jason Dalton: It was red when I first started.

Det. McGehee: Okay.

Jason Dalton: It switched from red to black.

Det. McGehee: Okay.

Jason Dalton: When it’s in that black mode it literally has control of you.

Speaker 1: What’s he talking about?

Harry Campbell: I’m not really sure. Yeah, I mean the only thing I could think of when you said that is the surge pricing. Whenever there is surge pricing you’re going to see large swaths of red on the driver app.

Speaker 1: It looks like most of this screen is red.

Harry Campbell: Yup. As you can see in the app, I mean, there’s not much black. There are a couple times where there’s going to be a little more black on the screens. This is what a ride request looks like, so at this point there’s a lot more black on the screen.

Jason Dalton: Then it would do little blinks at me.

Det. Gorham: The phone would?

Jason Dalton: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jason Dalton: I didn’t understand what those signified.

Det. Gorham: Well what does it signify?

Jason Dalton: I believe that one ding means yes and two dings means no.

Det. Gorham: In terms of what?

Jason Dalton: What it wants you to do.

Harry Campbell: When you get a request from passenger you hear a dinging.

Speaker 1: There’s no one ding or two ding-

Harry Campbell: [crosstalk 00:04:14] It’s a dinging noise. It’ll keep dinging for 10 or 12 seconds unless you tap the screen to accept the ride.

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