Uber driver attacked and cars stopped during Costa Rica launch

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Aug 23 (Reuters) - One Uber driver was attacked and at least two of the ride-hailing service’s cars were taken out of circulation during the company’s first weekend of business in Costa Rica, the government said.

After picking up a fare in Costa Rican capital San Jose, the driver was attacked by taxi drivers who smashed his car with a baseball bat and threatened him, newspaper La Nacion said.

The government condemned the attack but said in a statement issued late on Saturday that it would levy fines against drivers and take away licenses of vehicles working for Uber, which it says is operating illegally.

Authorities have so far taken at least two Uber vehicles off the roads, the government said.

A spokesman for Uber said it would cover the driver’s expenses if it was confirmed that he worked for the company. The company says it is operating within the law in Costa Rica. (Reporting by Enrique Pretel; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)