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Press Release

Former California Rideshare Driver Charged with Federal Hate Crime for Anti-Semitic Attack on Passenger

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO—A Daly City, California, resident and former rideshare driver was arrested on March 13, 2024, for an Oct. 26, 2023, assault on a rider because he perceived the rider to be Jewish or Israeli.

“The defendant, a rideshare driver, is charged with assaulting a rider because he thought the rider was Jewish or Israeli,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “No one in this country should live in fear because of how they worship or where they come from. The Justice Department will aggressively prosecute those who perpetrate hate-fueled violence motivated by antisemitism or by bias of any kind.”

“When taking public transportation – whether a taxi, bus, or rideshare – customers should be able to ride without being profiled, or worse yet attacked, because of their nationality or religion by drivers,” said U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey for the Northern District of California. “We will prosecute any ride-share driver who assaults a passenger in such hate-fueled violence.”

“This unprovoked attack was senseless and brutal,” said Robert Tripp, SAC of the San Francisco FBI Field Office. “Hate crime is among the FBI’s highest priorities and we will work to bring justice for victims of bias-motivated crime.”

According to the indictment unsealed this morning, on Oct. 26, 2023, Csaba John Csukás, 39, struck the victim in the face while at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) because the defendant perceived the victim to be Jewish or Israeli. The indictment alleges Csukás worked as a driver for an app-based rideshare company and was hired to drive the victim from SFO to the victim’s home. The indictment further alleges that when Csukás approached the victim at a predetermined pickup location, Csukás asked the victim the if the victim was Jewish or Israeli, stated that he would not transport a Jewish or Israeli person, and attacked the victim by striking the victim in the face with his fist.

Csukás made his initial appearance today and is charged with committing a federal hate crime which prohibits, among other things, causing bodily injury because of the actual or perceived religion or national origin of a person in circumstances affecting interstate commerce.

Csukás faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for the hate crime charge. If convicted, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after consulting the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey for the Northern District of California and Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp of the FBI San Francisco Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI San Francisco Field Office investigated the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California’s Special Prosecutions Section is prosecuting the case. 

Updated March 13, 2024