Uber driver suffers heart attack after mid-ride assault by passenger in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL/CNN) - A 41-year-old Uber driver who managed to fight off a violent attack by one of his passengers is now in the hospital after suffering a heart attack.

Joseph McVey, 41, remains in a medically induced coma after suffering a heart attack following an assault by an Uber passenger, whom police say wielded a knife. (Source: McVey Family/KTXL/Tribune/CNN)

The family of 41-year-old Joseph McVey, a husband and father of two, says the shock of the Sept. 29 assault was too much for him to handle. Not long after surviving, he suffered a major heart attack.

“I was just in disbelief. I was like, ‘You’re kidding me. He coded? And now he’s had this massive heart attack?’ I couldn’t believe it. I’m still in shock,” said his wife, Holly McVey.

Joseph McVey remains in a medically induced coma at the Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, California.

Holly McVey says she’s spent the last few days fighting back tears, wearing a brave face for her daughters, who don’t know if their father is coming home.

“It’s been really hard,” she said. “We have two little girls, and they keep asking me if Dad’s going to die.”

While working as an Uber driver the night of Sept. 29, Joseph McVey was attacked by a passenger mid-ride. Police say Cedric Jeter is accused of wielding a knife at the driver, leaving him fighting for his life to escape the blade.

Nearby security saw the assault and radioed police. It wasn’t long afterward that Joseph McVey had a heart attack.

Holly McVey says she hasn’t left her husband’s bedside in the days since and, concerned about the family’s finances, wishes Uber would do more to support full-time workers in times of crisis.

“If they can’t do anything to keep them safe, at least if something does happen, they need to have some financial protection for them,” she said.

As the family waits for answers, Holly McVey keeps her husband’s wedding ring around her neck, holding it close for comfort in this uncertain time.

“It means that I’m there for him. We’ve been through a lot together in our marriage, and I know he’s going to wear it again,” she said.

A GoFundMe page has been created for the family.

Uber says it immediately reached out to offer support and sends its thoughts to Joseph McVey and his family.

Copyright 2019 KTXL, Tribune, McVey Family via CNN. All rights reserved.