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Michigan Student's Shockingly Homophobic Uber Rant Caught On Tape

Jake Croman claims he was only reacting to the driver's anti-Semitism.

A University of Michigan student's profanity-laced, homophobic diatribe toward an Uber driver is making headlines after a video of the rant went viral on the Internet. (WARNING: contains graphic language) 

The clip, which was uploaded to YouTube on March 23 and can be viewed above, shows the student, who was identified by The Michigan Review and other media outlets as Jake Croman, hurling a series of anti-gay slurs at driver Artur Zawada. 

Among other insults, Croman called Zawada a "minimum wage faggot," and a "little faggot f*ck" in the video, which has been viewed over 600,000 times since it was posted. 

"You have to work all day? I'm going to go sit on my a** and watch some TV," Croman, who is a member of the national fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, said in the clip. 

On his YouTube page, Zawada alleged that this was the fourth time he had been harassed by the student and his friends since November 2015. Following the third incident, Zawada wrote, he requested that Croman be banned from using Uber, but that he continued to schedule rides through friends' accounts. 

“I already told him I would never take him again. He knew that but he didn’t cancel the trip,” Zawada told The Tab, a college news network. “I pulled in, I didn’t even say anything to the guy, and that happened. So I pulled out my cell phone and recorded him.”

Zawada has since filed a complaint with the Ann Arbor Police Department against Croman for alleged verbal harassment, according to the New York Daily News. As of Tuesday, the incident remained under investigation. 

After news of the case broke, Croman, who is purportedly the son of New York property magnate Steven Croman, defended himself in a statement released to BuzzFeed and Michigan Live, claiming that the video only showed "one side of an argument" he'd had with Zawada, who "refused to pick me up on the basis on my religion." 

"What you don’t see in the video is that the driver had made a number of offensive anti-Semitic remarks that provoked my response," he said in the statement. "I am not proud of my reaction to his discrimination and I regret my choice of words." 

In an email to The Huffington Post, university spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald called the video "reprehensible and completely inconsistent with our community’s closely held values."

"We expect more from members of the U-M community," he said, adding that the university was awaiting the details of the police report before they considered their next steps. 

"Regardless of the circumstances, no one deserves to be treated that way," he said. 

Officials for Tau Kappa Epsilon have not responded to HuffPost's request for comment, but told told Michigan Live in a statement that they are "extremely disappointed by the individual's demeaning words," and that the incident is currently under investigation. 

The fraternity added that, "depending on the details of the investigation, this could include the expulsion of membership."

CORRECTION: The original version of this article identified the student as Jake Corman. His correct name is Jake Croman. 

HuffPost

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