Surgeon Allegedly Assaulted Deaf Uber Driver

by Surgical Times

Law enforcement officials say Bharat Shah, a Springfield, Mo. triple-board-certified plastic surgeon, assaulted his Uber driver after being picked up from Inner Circle bar in downtown Springfield on Saturday evening, May 7, 2022.

Shah, 56, called law enforcement to report that his Uber driver was refusing to stop, and was hitting him. Shah told law enforcement he was “going to kill the driver.”

Shah told a Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy that he placed his arm around the driver’s neck as he believed the driver was “never going to make it to where he was going,” and that his behavior “was not normal.”

Shah’s driver was deaf and mostly nonverbal. He communicated with law enforcement via written statements.

Asked by KY3 if Shah knew his driver was deaf, his attorney said, “It was news to us to learn of the information that he had a hearing impairment, so that is part of this ongoing process of investigation.”

The assaulted driver, who informed the deputy he was taking Shah home, had no visible injuries according to a probable cause statement. 

That statement says two witnesses observed Shah putting his arm around the driver’s neck and that the driver was gasping and struggling to breathe.

Dr. Shah is being charged with third-degree felony assault.

His attorney, Joe Passanise, sent KY3 this statement:

“Dr. Shah enjoys an excellent reputation in our community with no prior criminal record as a prominent plastic surgeon. This was an unfortunate incident involving an Uber driver the other evening. There were no visible signs of injury, according to law enforcement. Dr. Shah is truly embarrassed and humbled by the attention that has been brought to him and his family.”

Surgical Times provides objective public interest reporting on the practice of plastic surgery and is not affiliated with or funded by any surgeon or practice.