Passenger Choked Driver For Singing Christmas Carols, Arrested

A Pennsylvania man choked a driver for continuously singing out-of-season Christmas carols. The incident took place on March 4 and the suspect was arrested on the same day.

A state trooper reached the scene after he was informed about a medical emergency. He spotted a minivan parked and two men standing outside. The driver of the vehicle told the trooper that the passenger, 25-year-old Clayton Lucas, began choking him while he was driving the van after he refused to stop singing Christmas carols.

The trooper then tried to handcuff Lucas, who wouldn’t cooperate. The trooper then wrestled him to the ground to gain control of the situation. He was eventually taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault among other offenses, CBS Local reported.

According to the criminal complaint released Friday, the victim told the trooper that the passenger “restricted the air and blood from around his neck” until he almost passed out. The victim showed signs of choking including bloodshot eyes.

Lucas was held in Allegheny County Jail and was due in court on March 13 for preliminary hearing.

In a similar incident in November 2018, a New Jersey man choked an Uber driver with seatbelt after telling him that he looked like a terrorist. Police reached the scene after getting information about a domestic assault incident in a car. When the officers arrived, the driver told them that the passenger, 38-year-old Kevin Malavarca, choked him with a seat belt. The driver said Malavarca was sitting along with his girlfriend in the backseat of the car when he suddenly started hitting her repeatedly. A while later, Malavarca asked him to pull over to let her out.

Moments after he pulled on, the passenger attempted to grab his phone and tried to hit him. Malavarca then told the victim he looked like a terrorist and that he wanted to strangulate him. He then took the seat belt and started choking him. The victim managed to push the seat belt release and stop the vehicle. Malavarca was arrested and charged with simple assault, harassment and two counts of reckless endangerment, Lehigh Valley Live reported.