Resident picked up on bench warrant over Uber spat

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Daniel Chalet, the nephew of Councilman Elias Chalet, was taken into custody by Bloomfield Police on Feb 12 on an outstanding bench warrant and released on his own recognizance.

According to BPD spokesman Ralph Marotti, Chalet turned himself in at the Bloomfield Detective Bureau on a Newark Police Department warrant for failing to make a Newark court appearance. Newark Police was contacted about the arrest and Chalet was given a new court date.

The court date Chalet missed was for a charge of alleged harassment brought against him by a Uber driver operating illegally at Newark Liberty International Airport. The incident, occurring on Dec. 9 at 8:30 p.m., was recorded by a dashboard camera in the Uber vehicle driven by Michael Vadon.

In a telephone interview, Vadon said that he sometimes drives for Uber. He was at Newark Airport the night of the incident, with a passenger, when a car approached his car.

“All of a sudden, this guy comes up,” Vadon said. “I don’t know him. I thought I was getting robbed. He cut me off.”
Vadon said he heard the driver of the other car, a silver Lincoln Town Car, calling out “Uber, Uber,” but this cannot be determined by a viewing of the dashboard camera recording.

“When he reversed, I gassed it forward,” Vadon said.
Vadon said the car approached him a second time, head-on.
“I thought he was a Uber clown,” Vadon said.

The parking area had two exits. Vadon said he decided to exit where he saw a security van, thinking the driver of the other car would leave him alone because of the van.

“But he came after me on foot,” Vadon said.
Vadon provided The Independent Press with a Port Authority report detailing the complaint and investigation by PA Police. Chalet would not comment on the incident when contacted by The Independent Press.

In the report, Vadon said he was in the parking garage to pick up his uncle when the alleged harassment occurred. The driver of the other car was identified as Chalet in the report.

In his telephone interview, Vadon said Chalet was identified readily because he was known to the PA police as a gypsy cab driver.

According to the report, an investigation followed. Chalet came to airport police headquarters the next day. He told police the incident was about a fare disagreement with a driver-for-hire. Chalet filed a complaint for alleged harassment against Vadon.

The investigation by PA police also turned up information that Vadon had been cited for operating a limousine without a permit. Vadon was asked to returned to airport police. He admitted that he had lied about picking up his uncle, that it was a fare and he was arrested for providing false information in the course of an investigation. The charge subsequently was reduced to creating a disturbance and he paid a fine of $100.

Vadon said Chalet was never arrested or issued a summons for telling PA Police that the incident was about a fare disagreement.

“Mr. Chalet was never a passenger in my vehicle,” he said.