An Uber driver who was stabbed in the back Sunday at a Southern California bar said he was just trying to pick up passengers when a group of men got aggressive and he felt he had to intervene.
Moe Elhilu went to pick up passengers at 2:15 a.m. at 17817 Lakewood Boulevard at Flux Bar.
The bar owner, Melissa Gutierrez, said the men involved in the attack were not customers at her business. Many of the customers that night were having fun as part of gay pride weekend in nearby Long Beach.
Top news of the day
A group of men began to harass the crowd, Elhilu said.
"They started wanting to fight, using profanity — I saw a large blade like a hunting knife," Elhilu said.
As he got out to open the door for his passengers, two men and two women, the attackers became hostile, he said.
Elhilu said he heard the group of men demand money from his passengers.
A good Samaritan from inside Flux bar tried to break it up and ended up getting stabbed several times himself.
At some point, Elhilu was stabbed, but he didn't realize it at first.
He assumed he had been punched, until he touched his back.
"I put my hand behind my back while I was driving — it felt wet," Elhilu said. "I put my hand out and saw my hand red with blood."
The Uber driver dropped off his passengers in Long Beach then called 911.
Elhilu cannot drive for several weeks, but as soon as the time is up, he will be back driving for Uber. He said he needs the money.
"They just wanted to hurt somebody," Elhilu said.
He believes the attackers got away in a gray older model SUV.
"It's just kind of sad this violence would happen, especially effecting our clients," Gutierrez said. "We have such fun-loving customers and we don't have issues like this."